Dahnon Ward, 14, has been playing tennis for five years and helped Great Britain’s junior team win a silver medal at the World Team Cup in 2019, narrowly losing out to Australia in a deciding match.
He is currently at number three in the junior world ranking, having beaten team-mate Ben Bartram to claim the boys’ singles title in the 2020 Bolton Junior Wheelchair Tennis Open, where Danhon and Ben won the doubles’ title.
Talented players Dahnon and Ben narrowly missed out on a place in the final of this year’s Cruyff Foundation Junior Masters in France, the premier wheelchair tennis event for juniors.
Dahnon’s potential has been recognised by the LTA which has chosen him, along with 11 other promising young players, for its Wheelchair National Age Group Programme (NAGP).
The programme is designed to educate and develop players and will give Dahnon access to coaching and tournament guidance from LTA coaches, training camps and support to maintain a sport/life balance.
Dahnon, who has benefited from webinars organised by the LTA during the lockdown, said: “Being selected for the NAGP is an opportunity to learn more and to access the support of coaches and other sports professionals both on court and off court. This should enable me to improve all aspects of my game.
“The webinars have been great. They have been just like the sessions we can access at training camps. They have helped me to stay on top of my daily training routines during the lockdown and it’s been good to catch up with all the other players.”
Rob Cross, LTA wheelchair performance head coach, said: “Dahnon has shown great potential and now has access to a fantastic package of support. While we have a track record of producing high performing wheelchair tennis players in this country, the standards of the sport across the world continue to advance and this programme is designed to help us stay ahead of the pack and maximise the potential of our best players.”