Eric Gilbert is one of Canada’s fastest-rising wheelchair tennis stars. He’s ranked #3 in Canada and #79 in the world and is quickly gaining attention on the tennis circuit. Not content to just improve his own game, however, Eric has launched a new beginner’s wheelchair tennis program in Quebec City to help all athletes with a disability experience the benefits of wheelchair sports.
“The challenge is to build a critical mass of active players in the community—players who play tennis recreationally—and, at the same time, encourage physical activity in people with disabilities, who will also have the opportunity to socialize and make new friends,” he said.
Eric got certified as a wheelchair tennis coach and set out to recruit beginning wheelchair tennis athletes for his new ‘Roule ta Balle’ program. Thanks to Tennis Canada and Parasport Quebec, he was able to purchase some wheelchair tennis chairs. Soon, he was granted access to the gym of the Institut de réadaptation en déficience physique de Québec. Even a snowstorm that cancelled the first Have a Go event didn’t deter Eric.
Today, the program has four players and Eric is hopeful to be able to recruit at least four more. Thanks to his hard work, Quebec City is well on its way to having a thriving wheelchair tennis program.