THE Aussie ID team and their head coach Alison Scott have returned victorious from the tennis world championships in France for the fourth year in a row.
Players with an intellectual disability dominated the INAS Summer Paris Games three weeks ago by winning four of the seven categories, placing silver in two competitions and taking two bronze home.
Prior to competing, the team of six had a two-day training camp at Queensland Tennis Centre’s National Academy with their coaches and Ms Scott leading five hours of training each day.
The athletes worked on their court work, agility exercises and team building activities as part of their last training sessions.
Ms Scott said the trip was a huge success with players contributing to a positive team environment.
“It was so great and everyone was extremely supportive and treated each other like family,” she said.
“The team culture was very important and it was so beautiful to see.”
The Victoria Point resident said she felt privileged to have seen and helped new and regular Aussie ID team players grow.
“I am so thankful to have been able to be there for them and to support them in any way, shape or form they needed,” she said.
“The teams have changed slightly in the last three years but it’s great to see people like Archie Graham who has now won the men’s singles title four years in a row.”
When asked what was her secret to success after helping the team bring home their fourth consecutive win, Ms Scott said when training the athletes, she would never underestimate their abilities.
“My approach with them is no different to how I coach someone that doesn’t have a disability,” she said.
“I encourage and teach all players the same way and even though they all have their own coaches, I make sure that they know I am the next best thing when I’m with them.”
Ms Scott said the players who were chosen had the highest ranks in tournaments based on their performance and results in the past year.
“There but encouraged those who were eager to pursue a place on next year’s team to try their best.
“There are pathways available for tennis players with intellectual impairment,” she said.
“Three players on the team play mainstream tournaments and train full time, however they also get the opportunity to represent their country.”
For more information, visit the Tennis Australia website or Redland residents can call Ms Scott on 0405 558 172.