Candice Combdon says she has always loved watching tennis. The Barrie resident grew up watching the sport with her mom.
Combdon was born with spina bifida and used leg braces to get around. At 30-years-old, she made a personal choice to have her right leg amputated in 2018 due to ongoing infections. Combdon has a prosthetic leg which she wears on a semi-regular basis, but when at work or anywhere that involves standing or walking for long periods of time, she uses a wheelchair.
Combdon will be among a number of players encouraging others and participating in wheelchair tennis on Sunday at the Midhurst Tennis Club. The ‘Have a Go’ day from 11 a.m. until noon is an opportunity for the public to test their ability at wheelchair tennis. Wheelchair tennis athletes will take to the floor for demonstrations in the afternoon, and there is also a community barbecue.
Combdon will be representing Team Ontario at the nationals in Montreal later this fall.
It was at one of these ‘Have a Go’ events about seven years ago that she decided to take up the sport.
“I had seen it on Facebook and I thought I should give it a try,” explains Combdon. “You never know what will happen, and I thought it would be a blast. I ended up falling in love and knew this was something I had to do in some capacity.”
She says the rules of wheelchair tennis are basically the same as tennis.
“The only difference is that we get two bounces to get to the ball,” says Combdon. “The first bounce has to be within the court and the second bounce can be out of bounds. The challenge would be to get to the ball quick enough in the wheelchair and to know how to manoeuvre the chair correctly, as opposed to using your legs for someone running.”
Combdon says her ultimate goal would be to represent Canada at the Paralympics.