Louise Hunt, a professional Wheelchair Tennis player and two-time Paralympian, will be returning to the School Games following her Athlete Mentor role last year.

Louise, who has Spina Bifida, is an inspiration to athletes both on and off the tennis court with a history of other sporting achievements too.

From the age of five, Louise participated in a number of sports, including swimming basketball and fencing. As a child, she won seven out of the 10 London Mini Wheelchair Marathons that she competed in, which is an un-official world record!

Having made her Paralympic debut in 2012, Louise is still competing professionally but dedicates the rest of her time to athlete mentoring and motivational speaking… making her a perfect candidate to support our School Games athletes!

We caught up with Louise to find out a bit more about her sporting career and her top tips for this year’s competitors…

Louise, what’s you proudest achievement to-date?

My proudest achievement is being a two-time Paralympian and getting into the top ten in the world rankings for both singles and doubles.

What would you be doing nowadays if you weren’t an athlete?

I love music; I play the piano and I'm learning the guitar too, so maybe something in that industry.

Did you always dream of being an athlete?

Yes, I did! :)

Who do you look up to?

My role model, both when I was growing up and now, is my Grampy.

He always made me feel like there were no boundaries, except the ones you set yourself. He made me believe in myself and my abilities in a way no one else ever did!

Did you go to University? If so, where did you study?

Yes, I went to Bath University!

Have you got any study tips for our student athletes?

Get organised! Plan in your study time just like a training session and, that way, everything will get done on time… and trust me, it will be less stressful!

Do you have any tips on how to make the most of training sessions?

Remember that you can take something away from every training session, even on a bad day.

There will always be something positive to learn from, so don't leave that session until you find it!

How about any advice on teamwork, especially for doubles teams?

Listen to each other! Remember that you can learn something from everybody, even people who you may not get on with so well.

What’s your perfect routine for preparing yourself for a competition?

Preparation is so personal so do what's best for you

I know all I need is my iPod and some good tunes and I'm on my way!

Has anything embarrassing ever happened to you at a competition?

Yes! A ball boy once threw the ball to my doubles partner… but hit me on the head in the process!

What’s your best strategy for overcoming defeat?

Don't stay in the moment too long. Learn from it, then move on and use that experience to make you better next time!

Most difficult country/environment you’ve ever competed in?

South Africa was tough. The weather was hot and humid, and the courts and hotel were inaccessible but as a professional you have to put all those challenges aside and just control what's in your power!

What’s your standout childhood/school memory?

Definitely competing in my first London mini-marathon at age 11 (I was a wheelchair racer before I was a tennis player). I didn’t even use a racing chair!

I was so slow but I completed it with my Dad running alongside me.

Have you got a favourite cheat meal?

Yes - fish and chips every time!

And finally, what’s your favourite wind-down technique?

To wind down mentally, definitely watching rubbish TV. A favourite of mine is "I'm a Celeb"… or I listen to Scott Mills’ daily podcast!