When Nicky Maxwell started playing tennis at JTCC in January, his goal was to simply use the facility recreationally. Five months later, Maxwell not only trains at JTCC five to six days a week, but has competed in his first tournament at the Para Standing Italian Open.
Held in Turin, Italy, from April 29 – May 1, the tournament featured more than 30 players worldwide and is one of 15 Para Standing tournaments held throughout the year.
“It was a really fun experience. I was there for five days, and we played in a tennis center in North Turin. There were players from 12-13 countries, and I was one of two British players,” commented Maxwell who grew up in Acton, London and learned to play from his dad.
“This is the first time I’ve ever played in a tournament, so I was super nervous during my first match, but I was able to eventually settle down which made me happy.”
A below-the-knee amputee, Maxwell competed in Singles and Doubles action, going 1-2, and 0-1, respectively.
After attending a Para Standing tennis event sponsored by Hanger Clinic in January, Maxwell became hooked and has been a fixture at JTCC ever since.
“I feel so grateful to have found JTCC. I came to DC as a student who loved playing tennis but wasn’t thinking about making it a focal point in my life,” stated Maxwell, who is studying International Relations in Johns Hopkins University Masters program.
“I’m not just saying this, but I’ve been amazed by how everyone lives by ‘Tennis For Everybody’. It runs through every coach and staff member I come across. Not just the fact that Coach Karl [Lee] and Gabby [Hesse] play for free with me all the time, but everyone I see here. They’re not interested in how I lost my leg, but how my game is doing and what I’m working on. This experience has opened up an exciting chapter in my life that would not have happened without JTCC.”