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Wheelchair tennis doubles pair honoured

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 7/01/2017
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The Royal New Zealand Air Force's Dave Sherriff and his doubles partner Glenn Barnes have been named the joint 2016 Tennis New Zealand Wheelchair Players of the Year.

Sherriff, supervisor of the Engineering Drawing Office at RNZAF Base Auckland, and Barnes, a former New Zealand Army soldier living in Christchurch, were both left paraplegic after private vehicle accidents.

They won a silver medal in the wheelchair tennis doubles at last year's Invictus Games in Florida.

The Invictus Games are an international Paralympic-style multi-sport event, created by Britain's Prince Harry, in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and veterans compete.

When it was announced that tennis doubles would be included at the 2016 Invictus Games, Sherriff said he knew Barnes, who had competed at the Barcelona and Athens Paralympics, would need a partner.

"So I had to learn quick! I would say I had five months' in training total, including one warm-up tournament.

Barnes said Sherriff's rapid improvement in the sport had been outstanding.

"I've been playing for about 17 years, but for David to play at this level after only a few months is incredible. I have so much respect for him."

The pair received the award at the 2016 Tennis New Zealand Annual Awards at ASB North Wharf in Auckland on Saturday night.

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