Derbyshire Freemasons have provided support to local tennis star Joshua Johns with a training grant of £160 a month
13-year-old Joshua has Right Sided Hemiplegia (Cerebral Palsy and Epilepsy) and is a talented and very promising Wheelchair Tennis player. Joshua has been playing now for three years and in this time has already represented England at the National School Games twice.
Joshua has won a number of UK National Series singles and doubles titles in 2019, and is now on the LTA elite performance programme, JFP2 (Junior Future Potential 2). He dreams of eventually representing his country in the Paralympics and competing in the Grand Slams.
All the current success and progress comes at a very high cost, as in order to make it to the top Joshua trains on and off court 4-5 times per week, which includes a personal trainer, alongside the group and individual tennis coaching he receives.
There are also travel and hotel costs for approximately seven weekend tournaments per year, plus five weekend training camps for the LTA JFP2 programme in London.
Joshua’s current regime costs approximately £8,000 per year and this will only increase in the coming years as travel to European competition is on the horizon.
Joshua is very lucky and already has an amazing team of supporters, alongside his family who help facilitate his dreams, but they only cover approximately half these costs. Finding charities and commercial sponsors is very challenging in the current financial climate, so every pound donated helps towards keeping his dreams an achievable reality.
Derbyshire Freemasons became aware of Joshua and the Derbyshire Provincial Grand Charity were pleased to offer him a training grant of £160 per month which will continue until at least May 2020 and will help towards him achieving his ambitions.
Joshua said: ‘Quite simply I could not have made the progress I have, had it not been for the support of the Derbyshire Freemasons. To get to the top of my sport is a huge challenge and there is very tough competition to get there.
‘As disabled athletes we take our sport very seriously and train just as hard and frequently as the able bodied do. To be the best I can be I must firstly work the hardest I can every day that's the minimum requirement, but to keep pushing forward I need to access the best possible coaching and professional input, be it in the gym or on the tennis court.
‘Without the generosity and continued support of the Derbyshire Freemasons this would not be possible. I will never take the support they give me for granted and will repay them the best I can with hard work and determination to be the best I can be.'