5th August 2023

Swindon’s former Paralympian to commentate at the inaugural European Para Championships in Rotterdam.

Louise Hunt Skelley PLY, former British wheelchair tennis player, will be commentating on the wheelchair tennis event at the first European Para Championships. The competition is taking place in Rotterdam from next week (August 8 to 13) while her husband Chris Hunt Skelley MBE competes.

Louise Hunt Paralympian - Swindon's former Paralympian to commentate at inaugural para games in Rotterdam
Louise Hunt Paralympian – Swindon’s former Paralympian to commentate at inaugural para games in Rotterdam

A new event

The inaugural European Para Championships is a multisport event that includes both judo and tennis. The aim is to stage it every four years. Further, it will always have a major European city as host, in the year preceding the Paralympic games. 

The 2023 inaugural event will feature ten different parasports. There’ll be 1,500 athletes competing to become European Para Champions. And, for some, it will mean qualification for Paris 2024. 

‘I’m so excited to be commentating on the wheelchair tennis at this fist European Para Championships,’ Louise said. ‘Multisport events always create such a different and unique atmosphere. So I’m looking forward to playing my part in this awesome showcase of para sport.’While at the same cheering on my husband Chris who’ll be competing and hoping to win a medal too.’

Opportunity knocks

As well as the chance to become European champions, the winners in the tennis divisions get automatic qualification for next year’s Paralympic Games in Paris. 

‘The stakes are high, and there is all to play for,’ Louise added. ‘I can’t wait to see some more high-quality wheelchair tennis players promoted on an international stage.’

Experienced commentator

Louise has plenty of experience to bring to the commentary box. She made her debut covering the Wimbledon wheelchair tennis event in 2013. She took a break while competing before returning to commentating after retiring from competitive playing in 2021. During her playing career, Louise represented Great Britain at both the London and Rio Paralympics. She won thirteen singles and forty-one doubles titles, with a career-high international ranking of ten.

Since retiring from playing, Louise has also gained experience as a tournament director. Having had a taste at an event in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, Louise went on to direct The Bolton Indoor ITF3 Wheelchair Tennis Tournament earlier this year. That gave her another view of the workings of a major international tennis tournament.

The mission of the European Para Championships is to create a new standard for paralympic sports events worldwide. It wants to inspire people. Whether with or without disabilities. Or rich or poor, young or old and regardless of background – to take up sports and exercise. The wheelchair tennis event runs until the 13th August and the Championships end on August 20.

For more information on Louise, visit http://www.louisehunt.co.uk/

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