Charlie Buirski, 15, wants to be a top British tennis player within three years. Despite being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at 11 years old, the Street tennis hopeful has been offered a two-year place at the well-respected Weil Tennis Academy in Ojai, California. Training starts next month - and Charlie needs your help to get him there.
Charlie’s mum, Leonora, is appealing for sponsorship to help her send Charlie to America. “Charlie is deeply passionate about the game and his only want in life is to become a professional tennis player,” she said.
"As many of his peers fall by the wayside, he has never wavered from his dream and has remained completely single-minded about this goal."
When diagnosed with diabetes Charlie was faced with the reality that he would have to inject himself with insulin around 1,500 times a year. Because he is so active and trains six times a week, he had to adapt his lifestyle so he could manage his condition effectively and carry on playing the sport he loves.
In the face of adversity the young Brit hopeful has remained determined to achieve his goal. “My diabetes has never made me feel like I am at a disadvantage,” said Charlie.
"I think in some ways it has made me try harder with my tennis. I know I want it badly enough to do everything I can to be a pro. Training at Weil is the next step in my dream."
Douglas Smallwood, Chief Executive of Diabetes UK, added: “Charlie is clearly a remarkable young man with enormous amounts of potential. We support him and his mum wholeheartedly in their campaign for sponsorship and urge people to do the same.”
“It is a common misconception that people with diabetes should not physically exert themselves. In fact, we recommend that people with the condition take regular physical activity. Sadly sportspeople with diabetes often suffer prejudice, yet Charlie appears to take his diabetes in his stride. We expect to see a lot more of Charlie on the courts in the future!”To sponsor Charlie call Leonora Langley on 01458 445157 or 07834 169332, or firstname.lastname@example.org.