Two Tennis Manitoba products took on the country’s best in Calgary a few weeks ago at the 2018 Birmingham National Wheelchair Championships.
The tournament took place from Nov 22-25 at the OSTEN & VICTOR Alberta Tennis Centre, with Jason Betker finishing in the 9-12 group, while James Bernus placed in the top 15.
Betker, who’s been playing wheelchair tennis for five years and has now represented Manitoba at the national level on three occasions, said it’s always a special feeling to represent the province.
“My goal was to make top 10, gain some experience, and have fun,” Betker said.
Bernus said he focuses on improving his skill level year to year, but eventually he’d like to crack the top 10 at nationals.
Bernus, who got his start in the sport at 2013, said he’d also like to see more Manitobans give wheelchair tennis a try.
“It’s a great sport that challenges you on so many different levels,” Bernus said. “Even though I am a single leg amputee, I never had to use a wheelchair, and prior to 2013, I may have played tennis a couple of times in my life. The challenge from the beginning was adjusting to use a wheelchair while attempting to hit tennis balls. Also, it’s a great outdoor sport so it gives you an excuse to be outside in the summer months.”