PHOTOGRAPHY BY AMY MAIDMENT
WORDS BY VICTORIA McINTYRE
Lucy is a wheelchair tennis player, who at the time of posting is sitting in the rankings as British No.#1 and World No.#5.
She is highly decorated, having won medals in the London, Rio, and Tokyo Paralympics with doubles partner Jordanne Whiley. She is also a former World Doubles Masters champion, five-time Wimbledon Doubles finalist, four-time Australian Open Doubles finalist, multiple World Team Cup medallist and national champion.
On top of her illustrious sporting career, Lucy dedicates time to give back to the wider community.
Lucy talks to us about tennis, the impact that sports psychology has had on Lucy’s career and life, and the value Lucy finds in encouraging others.
We’re speaking to you as an elite wheelchair tennis player who is currently ranked number one in the UK and number five in the world. You haven’t always been a wheelchair user. Can you tell us about your journey?
I grew up a typical able-bodied person. My parents always encouraged me and my brother to be involved in sport. When I was growing up, badminton ran through our family. I also had a love of horse riding. Those two sports were a massive part of my life. I went to university and studied a diverse degree in science, management of exercise and health. I walked straight into a sales marketing job and with my first month’s pay packet I took my direct motorbike license. I passed it first time and then twelve days later I went over to Swanage on my bike. I don’t remember the actual accident, but I went round a corner, and I didn’t make it. I hit a telegraph pole and a post box that were side by side. If I’d gone maybe one meter one side or the other, I probably would have just slid, but I didn’t. The only memory I have is that I couldn’t feel my legs. I’d severed my spinal cord at T4. I spent about ten months in hospital being rehabilitated. If you think back, 2001 was when the internet was just emerging. You couldn’t just go online to find out what happened, what I’d done to myself, what charities there were out there. But yeah, the result is I’m a T4 para(plegic), there’s no surgery that fixes the spinal cord and so it is what it is for the rest of my life.
Read Lucy's full interview in Issue 01 of Club71