With Wimbledon starting this week, we are so excited to introduce you all to our guest blogger for this month, Miss Abbie Breakwell. This determined and passionate young lady, from the East Midlands, is a wheelchair tennis player. During her three years playing this sport she has achieved so, so much including being selected to represent Great Britain at the World Team Cup for the junior team in 2018! She has also achieved the title of “Wheelchair Tennis British Open Girls Champion” along with eight other national titles which has had led to the amazing title of “LTA Wheelchair Tennis National Series ladies Number 1”.
These days, besides being a member of Team GB, you will find Abbie sitting her GCSE exams and training for the adult tournaments as well as taking on international tournaments, planned for later this year. Her dream is to compete at Wimbledon and the Paralympics (We cannot wait to see you there, Abbie!).
But, for now, let us hand over to Abbie. Her personal story is inspiring, from her reasons for wanting a photoshoot to her own ambitions for her future. #beboldbeyou, remember that everybody else really is already taken.
“My name is Abbie, I am 16 years old and play wheelchair tennis for Great Britain. I have a muscle wasting disease and a spinal syrinx so I have splints on my legs. I am training hard and aim to play in the 2024 Paralympics and one day it would be a dream to play at Wimbledon, holding up the championship ladies singles trophy.
I first met Firefly almost 5 years ago with my sister, Katie. We had a modelling photoshoot, which Katie had received as a gift from our Auntie Claire for her 16th Birthday. For my birthday I asked my mum and dad if we could have a photoshoot… At the time, life had been quite hard for us all as my mum had been really ill, so much so that we were all preparing ourselves for her to die. Thankfully after grueling treatment and surgery she recovered and is still here sharing life’s journey with us, so having the shoot to look forward to was great. I arrived with my mum and auntie… I had my makeup and hair styled before changing into the studio with my first outfit. James was the photographer and was great; he is very easy going, definitely on my wave length and before long we were all in fits of laughter loving the whole experience.
I am quite a confident person, but at the time I was very conscious of people seeing my splints as I had been bullied about them in the past, so was not sure about them being seen on the photos. James persuaded me to have some photos taken with my splints in full view, something I would never have usually done. But I am so pleased he did as they are some of my favourite photos from the shoot and we even have one printed and placed over the fireplace.
After my shoot life got a little bit tougher and I started to use a wheelchair as my health deteriorated. But I was taught never to give up, to live life to the full as you never know what is round the corner and to have hopes and dreams. My family keep me very grounded and I love them for it. I am striving to achieve my dreams and with everyone’s support I am now one of the British elite junior wheelchair tennis players in the country and I am the current LTA British National Wheelchair Tennis Series ladies single number 1. I am no longer the little girl trying to hide my splints from the world, now I am young athlete trying to make my mark on the world stage in a sport I absolutely live and breathe for. So my message is to you all is be yourself, be strong #BEBOLDBEYOU.”
Abbie is taking on international competitions this year and these come at great cost. If you’re able to offer any donation and/or sponsorship opportunities please contact us and we will pass your contact detail’s onto Abbie’s parents.
Our aim is to get as many men and women to be bold by embracing a photoshoot at Firefly Photography. We have so many shapes sizes & styles come through our studio doors and it’s time to show those who are too scared to pick up the phone that they can do it too (and we’re rather lovely to talk to!). To arrange a FREE, no obligation, chat by phone about what photoshoot we can offer you simply enter your details below and a member of the Firefly team will be in touch. #BeBoldBeYou Experiences are priced at £59. Our bookings team are available Wednesday through to Saturday from 10am until 5pm except for Saturdays when we close at 4pm.