Taking off on Global challenge

Published 6:00am 29 May 2023

Taking off on Global challenge
Words by Nick Crockford

Picture illustration: Tim Gould, left and Mitchell James in the Australian team at the Virtus Global Games.

Mitchell James and Tim Gould will jet to France this week aiming to serve up another golden display for Australia at the Virtus Global Games (June 4-10).

The Moreton Bay duo are in the national team of 11 for the world’s largest elite sports event for athletes with an intellectual impairment (II).

James, of Burpengary East, Gould, from North Lakes and their teammates are aiming to help Australia retain the tennis crown won at the last Games in Brisbane during 2019.

Gould flies to France as this country’s top-ranked Singles and Doubles player in the II-2 category. James is our top ranked II-1 Singles and Doubles player.

Mitchell James, practising hard before going to Vichy.

“This year’s team is a big team and we are really proud of that,” head coach Alison Scott said, before heading to the Games host city Vichy.

“We have been world champions since 2015, so we are very confident going overseas. The team is very well prepared and well trained, which is brilliant.

“It is the first-year players in the II-3 category (players on the autism spectrum), have been able to compete in the games and we are excited to take two players from this category to compete.”

“We have been really looking forward to this moment, because we feel Australia is ahead of the game in the II-3 category.”

Gould won Singles gold in the Virtus European Summer Games in Poland last year. James brought home gold and two bronze medals from the men’s mixed and men’s team Doubles.

Tim Gould hoping to add to his impressive medal collection.

Mitchell James started playing tennis at the age of five and his successes include the 2018 Special Olympics Australia National Games singles and doubles.

Gould received the 2021 Newcombe Medal after winning the II-2 Australia Open title.

Australia’s squad: Men - Archie Graham (Qld), Mitchell James (Qld), Luke Barker (Qld), Damian Phillips (NSW), Timothy Gould (Qld), Hunter Thompson (Qld) and Simon Ma (NSW). Women - Kelly Wren (NSW), Carla Lenarduzzi (Vic), Breanna Tunny (Qld) and Andriana Petrakis (SA).

Teams from more than 50 countries will compete in the Virtus Global Games across sports such as tennis, athletics, basketball, cycling, equestrian, futsal, handball, judo, karate, rowing, swimming, table tennis and taekwondo.

Taking off on Global challenge
The Australian PWII tennis team before jetting to France.

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