Summer is almost here! I've been so happy with the nice weather, lately. It means I can practice my tennis in the fresh air. My tennis teacher said that I've been getting better and better each practice and that I should consider entering a tournament. That would be really great, but a tournament? I would be too nervous. I had never played in a real competition before. What if I lose in the first game? In my neighbourhood, there isn't a tennis competition for those who are in wheelchairs. What if I get made fun of by the other kids? All these thoughts went through my head. But my parents think it would be good for me and even that I'm good enough to win! So despite my nervousness, my parents and my tennis teacher went with me to sign up for the next tennis tournament.
The first games were in a week, so I practiced a lot. Not only my tennis skills, but I practiced getting rid of my nerves. I was so scared what the other kids would say when they saw I was in a wheelchair. The first game day came. I was still nervous. When I went onto the tennis court, as ready as I could've been, the other player had a strange look on his face. Then he started laughing hysterically, saying ‘you expect me to play against someone on wheels? Really?' it was embarrassing, but I could hear my friends and family cheering from behind me. ‘You can do it, Pete! You're a great tennis player! YEAH!' I knew with their support I could do great in the tournament and show the other players the kind of tennis player I am. So I played my best and won!
I won every game in the tournament after that and made it to the finals. Just one more win and I would be the champion! I was waiting on the court for my opponent to come. When he did, I was surprised. He was in a wheelchair, too! There was another tennis player who was in a wheelchair. I was so surprised and happy and nervous. It was the finals and I had to play my best. The game was a close one. We were very evenly matched. But in the end, he beat me. Fair and square. I didn't even mind. I knew I did my best and he deserved to win. But I won second place which was exciting! After the game I talked to my opponent. ‘I was surprised to see another player in the tournament who was like me,' I said. ‘What's your name?' ‘Oliver. Nice to meet you.' My tennis teacher congratulated Oliver. He said that it was one of the best tennis matches he had ever seen. ‘You are both champions.' He invited Oliver to come and practice with us. ‘That would be great! You are very fast, Pete. It'd be great if you could help me with my speed.' ‘No problem. And you have a great arm. Maybe you could help me with my back-hand?' I asked. ‘No problem.' I was so happy I entered the tennis tournament. I was able to face my fears and meet a great player and a great friend. That made it the best tennis season ever!