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North Finchley tennis fanatic who defied doctors aiming to serve up swansong
A tennis fanatic who was told she may never walk is aiming to compete in tournaments abroad for the first time.
Ruthie Zangi, of Kings Way, North Finchley, suffered numerous health complications when she was born one month premature in 1979.
After spending a month in an incubator, the now 33-year-old tennis player went through years of speech therapy and physio but has defied doctors for three decades.
As a child, USA-born Ruthie defied medical experts by learning to walk and later developing a love of sports, in particular tennis.
Despite later developing scoliosis, a painful spinal condition, the defiant tennis nut has continued to play into her 30s and is now hoping to realise her dream of competing abroad.
The former Jewish Free School and Barnet College student is looking for sponsors who could help her travel to Glasgow, France and Israel to compete in tournaments during late October.
She said: “It means everything to me - it is my life. I just love competing, meeting new people. For me, it is very important. It keeps you fit. Everyone is talking about the legacy of the Olympics - well my dream is to keep playing tennis.”
Ruthie fell in love with the sport as a young girl and, when she moved to Israel with her family aged six, she continued to play regularly.
After moving to England at age 13, the dedicated amateur had coaching lessons and began playing in local competitions in Barnet.
Now in her 30s, Ruthie is aiming for one last swan song in the sport she adores, but her financial situation means she is unable to fund travel to the pricey tournaments.
Having given up the tennis lessons she can no longer afford, Ruthie is hoping some generous organisations or individuals could offer some assistance to help her realise her dream.
She said: “It would mean the world to me. My family are very proud of me. When I play tennis I feel like people can see who I really am – I can show them what I can do.
“If someone came to me and said they would sponsor me I don’t know what I would do – I’m just really hoping someone can help.”
If you would like to sponsor Ruthie, contact the news desk by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .
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