Tuesday, 12 July 2011


Get Kids Going! disabled sailors Alexandra Rickham and Niki Birrell were crowned SKUD World champions for the third consecutive year in the IFDS Disabled Sailing Combined World Championships in Weymouth last week (2nd-8th July 2011).

The pair are widely recognised as the dominant force in British and world SCUD 18 sailing, and led from start to finish during testing conditions. A second and fourth place on the penultimate day secured the victory and meant that the team were able to celebrate victory with a day to spare. The victory is perhaps all the sweeter for the fact that it took place in home waters, in the venue which will host the sailing competitions during the 2012 Paralympics.

Speaking after the race, Alex said “We couldn’t have done it without the fantastic support of Get Kids Going!”

“We had to work really hard for it today but managed to get the job done. Our strength this week has been our consistency across the range of conditions, we’ve hit a few adverse moments and day two wasn’t exactly a sparkling day for us but we pushed on through the whole time and just made sure we stuck it out. My shoulder’s been niggling all week, so I’ve had a lot of physio, so it’s not just us there are a lot of other people who make your campaign what it is. I’m more than excited to win in a 20-boat fleet on home waters in the Paralympic venue, we couldn’t have asked for anything more than that.”



Get Kids Going! was delighted to talk with wheelchair-tennis star Louise Hunt after a series of impressive performances in the last month. Louise won her third women's doubles wheelchair tennis title in as many weeks after partnering Germany's Bianca Osterer to victory at the Arcotel-Rezidencija Open in Zagreb, Croatia on 28th June 2011. The pair triumphed 6-1, 6-2 to round off a hugely successful European clay court tour.

Her success during the Croatian Open was matched by doubles’ titles at the Czech Open and the Slovakian Open. Louise narrowly missed out on Singles titles during the same tournaments but finished as a semi-finalist in one and runner-up at the other two.

During the last year Louise has beaten two players in the top 15, something that has contributed to what she describes as her “best year so far”. Louise is firmly on track to make the Olympic team for London 2012 and she is aiming to medal by the time the Rio Olympics come round in 2016.

Louise started playing tennis at the age of just 5 and she believes it is a sport she was always “destined to play!” Louise was actually the recipient of the first ever wheelchair distributed by Get Kids Going, which she received in 1997 at the age of seven. The support she has received from Get Kids Going! has “meant the absolute world to me. I could not have done what I have without Get Kids Going!”.

Louise will be competing in the British Open from 18th- 25th July in Nottingham.


Get Kids Going! wheelchair-tennis star Josh Steels recently returned home from Croatia where he put up an excellent fight against the third seed, and world number 48, in the first round of the International Federation event in Zagreb on 23rd June. Despite the defeat, the Great Britain Junior number one was upbeat about his performance against such a top-level player, describing himself as “very happy with the way I played”.

Josh has been playing tennis for four years, and he is now targeting as many senior ranking events as possible in order to fulfil his dreams of representing Great Britain at the 2012 Paralympics. He is currently having an impressive year, and despite being only eighteen, was a runner up in the National Wheelchair Tennis Championships in May and also helped Great Britain to a fourth-placed finish at the World Team Cup, staged in South Africa in April.

Josh put his impressive new performances down to his new Get Kids Going! tennis wheelchair which was given to him by the charity in May this year! We wish Josh all the best for his next events as he attempts to move up the rankings.