Wheelchair-tennis boy strikes gold at UK School Games

Wheelchair-tennis player Dahnon Ward, of Ilkeston, who won a gold medal at the national finals of the UK School Games.
Wheelchair-tennis player Dahnon Ward, of Ilkeston, who won a gold medal at the national finals of the UK School Games.

Jubilant wheelchair-tennis player Dahnon Ward, of Ilkeston, won two medals, including a gold, at the national finals of the UK School Games.

Dahnon, who goes to Kirk Hallam Community Academy, struck gold in the boys’ doubles alongside George Davies, and also bagged a bronze in the boys’ singles after winning his last match.

The medals capped a memorable time for Dahnon at Loughborough University, which hosted the four-day multi-sport event for the UK’s elite young athletes.

“I played really well,” he said. “I started a bit wobbly, but I gained confidence as it went along. I enjoyed the experience, especially sleeping away from home. It was fun, and the athletes’ village was great.”

Dahnon was born with a rare condition that means he has a very short bone between his hip and knee, and no kneecap at all. He started playing wheelchair-tennis in October, 2015 at Nottingham Tennis Centre after he was forced to quit football following several operations on his leg. He also plays at Ilkeston Tennis Club.