23 year old tennis ace and GSF athlete Lily Mills, has been selected to compete in Australian Open’s Person With Intellectual Impairment Championships in Melbourne, Jan 2024. This would fulfil a lifelong dream for Lily of playing in a Grand Slam. There have only been 8 Men & 8 Women selected to compete (these are the top 6 athletes based on VIRTUS singles rankings + 2 wildcards).
Lily’s training and dedication became more serious over time, Lily has played tennis for 18 years now with rapidly developed skills and performance. Whilst Lily first picked up a racket at the age of 5, she began to take it seriously from 12 years old. She has competed and won countless Gold and Silver medals at regional, national, and international competitions. Lily competes for the development squad for the LTA, she is the only female player on the team. She trains at Islington Tennis Centre, taking part in the performance squad and private lessons with her coach Mukember.
Lily is also supported by the GLL Sport Foundation (GSF), the UK’s largest independent athlete support programme. It has always been a core mission of the programme to support athletes like Lily on their sporting journey. GSF in Islington currently supports 36 athletes to the value of £21,800. 89% of these athletes receive no other funding, which underlines the importance of the scheme to both athletes and GLL’s social values.
Alongside this, Lily is an ambassador for Virtus Sport, the International Sports Federation for the top elite athletes with an intellectual impairment, and has competed in the Special Olympics internationally!
In 2017, Lily was selected to represent Team GB in the Special Olympic Summer Games in Sheffield, winning Silver for both Women’s Singles and Mixed Doubles. In 2019 Lily was chosen to represent Team GB in the Special Olympic World Games held in Abu Dhabi where she won Double Gold in Women’s Singles and Mixed Doubles. This year she won gold in the mixed doubles at the Special Olympics World Games 2024 in Berlin. She went on to add to her medal tally with a bronze medal in the women’s doubles.