A TALENTED schoolboy will receive support from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) with a view to preparing him for a career at the top level of the sport.

Oliver Cox, who trains at the White Horse Leisure Centre in Abingdon, is one of a dozen players to be selected for the LTA Wheelchair National Age Group Programme.

It will see the 13-year-old gain access to national-level coaching, training camps and education support.

The set-up is designed to help players the governing body believe have the potential to become elite athletes.

Rob Cross, wheelchair performance head coach at the LTA, said: “Oliver has shown great potential and now has access to a fantastic package of support which will hopefully allow him to develop even further both as a player and a person.

“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.

“The LTA World Class Wheelchair Tennis Performance Pathway provides a seamless route for our highest potential players to progress from junior competition to playing major tournaments.

“I wish Oliver and the other players selected every success as they continue their journey this year.”

Cox, who lives in Watchfield, near Shrivenham, was born with cerebral palsy.

Inspired by seeing Paralympic silver medallist Andy Lapthorne on television, he only began playing tennis four years ago.

In 2018, he represented England at the National School Games, while last year he was runner-up in the junior doubles at the national championships.

If he continues to show high potential at the end of the age group programme, Cox will join the performance programme.

It supports several multiple major winners, including Jordanne Whiley, an

11-time grand slam champion who lives in Steventon.

Cox said: “I hope that I will become a better player during my time on the programme.

“Even though we’ve been in lockdown, I am thankful that the LTA has organised webinars to continue to develop us during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I really enjoy playing wheelchair tennis and, in the future, I aim to become the best player that I can be.”