School pals share wheelchair tennis passion

Abby and Charlie share a passion for wheelchair tennis

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Charlie and Abby have been friends since they were in nursery together 10 years ago and their families are very close.

And as part of School Report's News Day they decided to share their very personal story of friendship and sport.

Abby likes Charlie because he's really kind and funny and they get on really well together.

He likes her because she's sporty and has the same interests.

They hang out together at school and also play wheelchair tennis together at his house and at a club in Leicester.

Charlie wants to be involved in sport in some way when he grows up. He is interested in sports journalism but would love to be an athlete. Abby thinks she'd like to get into sport therapy when she leaves school.

Charlie says he wanted to report on how he and Abby play wheelchair tennis together because: "It's important to get across that everyone in a wheelchair can do the same things that able bodied people can do. And able bodied people can join in with disabled sports."

School Reporter Charlie in action on the tennis court Are you ready Abby? Charlie winds up another serve

Abby's reasons were similar: "It's important that people with disabilities can join in and they can enjoy sport together with able-bodied people."

She added: "I enjoy playing wheelchair tennis because it seems more fun in a wheelchair. It's great once you get the hang of holding a racquet and steering your wheelchair. You freewheel and hit the ball - you have to be well coordinated!"

They both had great fun producing their video for BBC News School Report.

Charlie added: "We were filmed moving about in our wheelchairs. We attempted to get a rally going but it didn't work so well. The rules are slightly different in wheelchair tennis to able-bodied tennis, so I had to explain them.

"During the interviews I tried to put out of my mind that I was being interviewed. I tried to think about having a conversation."

Abby and Charlie have a busy week ahead as they are soon going skiing with the school in Austria.

They think they'll be friends forever and can't wait to watch the Olympic and Paralympic Games this year.

Charlie is particularly excited as he met the captain of the American basketball team on holiday this year and wants to watch him in action.

They admitted to being very competitive in sport and Charlie said: "I'm the most competitive but I'm a good loser, although I like winning more."

Abby, who recently beat Charlie at basketball, added: "I don't lose very often so I don't know if I'm a sore loser!"

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