***Joel has always been in love with sports. He was born with a benign tumour that was removed near his spine, which developed into a partial-paralysis causing both a scoliosis and partial nerve damage to his body. As a child, Joel was very active and competed in a variety of sports including track and field, sledge hockey, challenger baseball, and golf. It wasn’t until he was introduced to Frank Peter Jr., one of the country’s top wheelchair tennis players, that he truly found his passion. Wheelchair tennis combined both speed, power, and eye-hand coordination. A sport that demanded that you be good at so many different things all at once.
After a few years, Joel rose to the top of Canada’s junior rankings. At age 19, he made Canada’s National Development Team. As part of the development team, he was introduced to some of Canada’s top coaches, trainers and players, and continued to progress as a tennis player while attending the Sports Management program at Brock University. Joel Dembe became the #1 ranked men’s singles wheelchair tennis player in Canada this year, and has significantly climbed the international rankings defeating several higher ranked players along the way. He won three international singles events, closed the season winning the National Championships in both singles and doubles, and has recently helped Canada to clinch its spot in the BNP Paribas 2012 World Team Cup after defeating Mexico in the final of the Americas regional qualifier in Mexico City. Joel is currently in training for the London 2012 Paralympics. If you wish to help Joel reach his goals, you can make a tax deductible donation at www.joeldembe.ca.
This video takes you into the world of Joel Dembe, Canada’s #1 Male Wheelchair Tennis Player. Please watch and enjoy.