Charlotte Wallace coaches the mini and junior performance programme.

Exeter Tennis Centre trains stars of tomorrow

2012 was a year of unprecedented success for British Tennis. Andy Murray’s performances at Wimbledon, the Olympics and the US Open have undoubtedly inspired a generation of young tennis players to pick up a racquet and get involved.

In this respect Exeter Tennis Centre is leading the way. Not only is the Student Tennis Club the largest sports club at the University of Exeter, with nearly 500 members, but the centre has also been awarded Performance Centre status by the Lawn Tennis Association in recognition of high quality coaching support services offered to elite athletes.

This coaching, however, is not restricted to students and adults. The centre runs a highly acclaimed Mini and Junior Performance programme to help nurture and train players as young as six.

Charlotte Wallace, Tennis Performance coach, commented “The performance programme is designed to give talented young players the opportunity to get the most out of their tennis. We work very closely with each individual player to ensure that their personal programmes provide them with an effective training platform.

The centre’s Mini and Junior performance programme supports a number of young athletes aged six – sixteen years old. Players travel from across Devon and as far afield as Cornwall and Somerset to attend training sessions. We offer each of our players a number of dedicated services to help them improve their game including one to one coaching sessions, squad coaching, pilates with Ocean Physio, hitting sessions and strength and conditioning sessions with the High Performance unit’s dedicated instructors.”

The hard work is clearly paying off as Exeter’s performance players are enjoying huge success on a national level.

Louis Davis, aged nine, won the Winter National Tour (9 and under) event at Oxstalls, Gloucester last November and is currently ranked UK number three for his age group. Emily Sims, aged nine, is also performing exceptionally well. Last October she won the Bolton National Tour event and is also placed at number three in Britain. Dan Mountford, aged nine, finished third Weybridge leg of the Winter National Tour, moving him to fourth in the UK rankings.

Further success has also come at regional level. Louis Skupien dominated Winter Regional Tour last weekend, winning the event without dropping a single game. The victory has qualified him for the Cambridge National Tour event on 20 January. Exeter squad player Taylor Ingham-Hill also made it to the final, giving Exeter Tennis Centre a fantastic 1-2 finish.

It is hoped that these rising stars will progress into the centre’s Junior performance programme which has also been very successful. Players Jack Findel-Hawkins and Howard Scott dominated the Tier Two AEGON British Tour event in Swansea in October and qualified to compete in the prestigious AEGON British Tour Masters, which drew from the top 32 players in the country.

Charlotte said “Jack and Howard have performed exceptionally well over the last 12 months and are a fantastic example for our mini and junior performance players to follow. The next big test will be the Winter National Tour event in Nottingham. If the players continue to do well they will qualify for the Winter National Tour Finals in March which will bring together the top players in the country. With the talent that we have coming through our performance programme at the moment I am confident that we will continue to set the standard for exceptional tennis at a national level.”

Date: 17 January 2013

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