Why Gordon Reid is a great ambassador for Great Britain

Sport in this day and age tends to be more associated with household names, that young people aspire to be. A good example would be someone like Cristiano Ronaldo, very well-known and highly admired.

Although, a name that should be considered when selecting a sporting role model is Gordon Reid. It would be fair to say that Reid has so far gained a far lesser fanbase in his sporting career to date. However, he is a credit to himself and the country.

To anyone who is unaware of Reid, he is a professional wheelchair tennis player. Originally from Helensburgh, Reid has very much had a successful career so far. Having came from a tennis background, he began practising the sport at just six years old.

Sadly, Reid was later diagnosed with a severe illness known as, Transverse Myelitis. It is a severe illness that essentially inflames both sides of one side of your spinal cord.

According to the Mayo Clinic: “Transverse myelitis interrupts the messages that the spinal cord nerves send throughout the body. This can cause pain, muscle weakness, paralysis, sensory problems, or bladder and bowel dysfunction.”

Obviously after being told he was suffering from such an illness; it could easily have been that Reid’s career in tennis was over. Instead it was just the beginning, with no sign of letting it affect his aspirations in life he decided to follow his dream via a different route. In 2005, Reid began playing wheelchair tennis. The decision came after he had been introduced to the sport in Glasgow, at the Scotstoun Leisure Centre.

It has proved to be a very positive move for the current 27-year-old, the following year he was listed in the ten names nominated for BBC Young Sports Personality of the year.

The world really has proved to be Reid’s oyster with the correct attitude and perseverance. He has gone on to prove him to be one of the finest to play the game of wheelchair tennis, not just in singles but also doubles.

Without doubt 2016 was Reid’s most successful year as a professional at present. A fine year to say the least which saw him add various pieces of silverware to his CV. At both doubles and singles, he picked up top prizes, winning Wimbledon not only individually but with his partner Alfie Hewett, amongst other trophies.

It was the year that marked Reid’s only two individual victories as of yet, in addition to Wimbledon, he took home the Australian Open title, whilst also finishing runner up at the French Open. A tournament which he came close to winning just recently.

Reid once again made the final in France, but it again wasn’t to be his time. He missed on a first French Open title and a third Grand Slam, losing in straight sets against Argentine Gustavo Fernandez.

A loss that will be hard to take for Reid on a personal level at the moment. It certainly should affect him though for too long because he overall is a winner. Heart, desire and courage, Reid has shown all three to be where he is right now as a person and an athlete. He should be nothing but proud of himself.

(Image via BBC)

James Miller

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