Ivan celebrates a wonderful year

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It’s been another fantastic year for Ivan, who at age 17 continues to be the youngest member of Great Britain’s LTA men’s visually impaired tennis squad and has been for 3 consecutive years now.  Ivan was born with a rare connective tissue disorder which means that he is partially sighted. Ivan maintained his position as Great Britain’s No 1 ranked player in the Men’s B4 category when he became national champion for the third time running at the Visually Impaired National Tennis Finals, which were held in Wrexham in November 2022. For good measure he won the national doubles title as well.

Ivan continues to train several times a week at West Herts LTC and David Lloyd Northwood where he doesn’t miss an opportunity to play with the very supportive members.

Ivan continues to try to use his prominent position as No. 1 in the country to champion and promote awareness of the sport and as well as what visually impaired tennis players can achieve. This year has seen the BBC take a keen interest in following Ivan and led to interviews on both BBC 5 Live and BBC Radio 4.  Links to the interviews are as follows:

BBC Radio 5 Live interview: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p0cg90x8

BBC Radio 4 In Touch interview: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0018x1k

Another huge accolade was his nomination for the My Local Hero Young Sporting Achiever of the Year 2022 and his invitation to the Gala event at the Grove Hotel near Watford.

As well as to continuing to remain unbeaten in regional tournaments, Ivan’s goal is to become World Champion at the forthcoming World Blind Games 2023 due to be held in Birmingham next summer when he hopes to finally play other international visually impaired players in his sight category after the disappointment of being unable to participate in Gdansk due to the low number of players who entered.

You can follow Ivan on Instagram @ivanrdeb

With thanks to Anita Deb

*photo of Ivan (L) with brother and hitting partner Aaron in 2020