Tom Wride – research and racquets
12 March 2019
A 5am training session, a day in the office auditing clinical trials at UHB and then an evening session in the gym is the sort of regime and discipline that has taken Tom Wride to the top UK spot in the aged 40+ International Tennis Federation (ITF).
Birmingham-born Tom developed his love for tennis at an early age, playing at the Edgbaston Archery and Lawn Tennis Society. His obvious talent led to the chance of a full university scholarship at the University of Tennessee at Martin and Tom set off for a year of US education and collegiate competition at the age of 18.
The opportunities that came his way though, meant Tom stayed in the States. He completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Human Performance, became a United States Professional Tennis Association (USPTA) certified coach, was inducted into his University Athletic Hall of Fame in 2012 and eventually took on dual-nationality, only returning to the UK to be closer to family in 2017.
Tom explained that after completing his Master’s degree in the Department of Human Movement Science in Memphis, while at the same time competing on the tennis circuit and then the US National Championships, he decided to stick with his career in research rather than pursue professional tennis titles.
Tom is proud to have worked for over 15 years in clinical research in the US, 10 years of it at the prestigious St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis. So, it wasn’t long after his return to the UK with wife Erin, that Tom gained his current post as a Senior Research Quality Coordinator at UHB, where he manages quality assurance processes for clinical research undertaken at the Trust.
Since returning to the UK, and also turning 40 which puts him into the ‘seniors’ category of athletes, Tom’s tennis career has also gone from strength to strength.
Previously, Tom was the United States National Tennis Champion 2012 for 30+ and now he holds the title of British National Champion and British number one for 40+. He is currently ranked number 18 in the world by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) 40+, as well as being Captain of the GB Men’s Tennis 40+ Team. As such he will be representing GB in the ITF World Championships in Miami this year and will also captain England Men’s 35+ at the Four Nations Tournament in Dublin.
Packing all this in requires boundless energy and a dedication that doesn’t wane, so sharing his love of the sport and training junior tennis players is an opportunity which also gives Tom even more time on the court. “Skills developed in sport can be transferable into the workplace and tennis has been great for work life balance,” he said.