A Kelowna-based tennis player has been identified to a newly minted development program with Tennis Canada.
Sam Peters is one of seven athletes selected to the 2023 National Development Program for wheelchair tennis. The program was launched in May of 2023 and will see promising athletes receive support early in their development path to help them reach their full potential.
Peters, who was born requiring an above-knee amputation to both of his legs, has been playing tennis for four years.
Despite barriers to participating in the sport, as Kelowna has just one indoor facility with courts (which is not accessibility friendly), Peters participated at the United States Tennis Federation (UTSA) Junior Wheelchair Tennis camp in 2022, which featured the best 12-18 year olds from across North America.
The 15 year-old is also an accomplished skier, competing as a part of the Powder Hounds at Big White in the winter months.
Kai Schramyer, national coach of the wheelchair tennis high performance program, was extremely proud to see a program for accessible athletes get national funding.
“The support that the National Development Program will provide these talented athletes will maximize their potential over the next years,” he said. “Hopefully it will lead to a higher number of significant results during our domestic tournaments, ITF events, and eventually, the Paralympics.”
Peters himself has similar lofty goals, saying in an interview last year that he hopes to become Paralympian in both the winter and summer games.
The six other development team members are:
Lachlan Sandford (junior): Mission, B.C.
John Chen (junior): Richmond, B.C.
Frédérique Bérubé Perron (junior): St-Bruno, Q.C.
Hisham Mohammad (quad): Hamilton, O.N.
Candice Combdon (women): Barrie, O.N.
Shawn Courchesne (men): Toronto, O.N.
More information on the national development program can be found at tenniscanada.com/compete/wheelchair/high-performance-program.