IT is rackets at the ready in Abingdon as wheelchair tennis gets set to roll into town with the help of top coach Marc McCarroll.

The 32-year-old, who represented Team GB at the Paralympics in London and Rio, will run the county’s first dedicated wheelchair tennis day on Saturday, November 4, as part of ambitious plans to create a new hub for disability tennis in Oxfordshire.

Mr McCarroll has recently moved to Steventon with his tennis star partner Jordanne Whiley, who won the Wimbledon wheelchair doubles final in 2017.

He said they hoped to set up a regular wheelchair tennis club in the town after the event, adding: "There isn't much here at the moment so hopefully we can change that."

Called Push2Podium, the day has been created by the Tennis Foundation, a national charity that supports increasing access to the sport, and it will run at White Horse Leisure and Tennis Centre in Abingdon from noon until 4pm.

Mr McCarroll said: “There has never been a better time to get involved in wheelchair tennis.

“It’s a sport with a growing profile and we are really keen to get regular wheelchair tennis sessions going at the White Horse, both for juniors and adults."

“The Push2Podium event will kick us off and give everyone a flavour of what it’s like to play.

"It’s not just about hitting a ball – but also about how to manoeuvre the wheelchair, how to hold a racket, how to develop those chair skills in general.”

Players who impress at the Push2Podium event will be invited on to the Tennis Foundation’s development squad and Ash Smith, performance development coach at the charity will help to the run the session in Abingdon.

The wheelchair tennis day is just one of a series of initiatives taking place at the leisure centre which aims to see the leisure centre become a hub for disability tennis in the county.

It is already running programmes for visually impaired players, people with special needs and a down syndrome group.

There are also plans to extend the range of tennis sessions to people with mental health issues.

Nicky Maskens, chairwoman of Tennis Oxfordshire which is supporting the event, said: “A few of our coaches are running sessions for disability groups already.

“At the White Horse we now have a large number of specialised wheelchairs which we want people to use.

"They are available for anyone at any time. All people have to do is ask for one when they book a court.”

Players can reserve a place at the tennis day at but booking is not required.