The LTA look ahead to the next generation

09/07/2019

| News

A photo of the junior international player Maia Lumsden playing tennis

From this September, the next generation of aspiring young British tennis players will be taking their next steps on the long road to a possible future professional career in the sport. With the support of the LTA, two National Academies have been established where 15 of the brightest young players aged 12 and above, will train and study through to completing their GCSE exams (with the option to continue to A Levels).

The National Academies will be hosted and run by Loughborough University and Tennis Scotland at the University of Stirling, with LTA investment, support and oversight. Both programmes are aiming to support young players throughout the most formative part of their budding tennis careers - developing them as people, as well as players. The players will receive world class coaching, trips to national and international competitions as well as a first class education and a focus on personal development.

The first intake will arrive at Stirling on 17 August, with Loughborough's players starting on 31 August.

The LTA's Performance Director, Simon Timson explains:

"We're taking a person-first approach to developing our highest potential young British players. It will focus on shaping rounded young people and outstanding tennis talent through the provision of world-class coaching and a first-class education. It's a simple formula, bring the brightest young talent together in the right environment to push one another on a daily basis supported by excellent coaches. The aim is really clear - nurture more complete people, players and performers to create sustainable stream of talent equipped for success on the WTA and ATP tours. This would not be possible without the firm foundations laid by all the expert coaches and support staff at the clubs and centres across the country where the 15 players have grown up. We would like to thank them for the work they have done, and look forward to working with them to develop even more players aspiring to National Academy progression over the coming years.

Each Academy will develop individually tailored  programmes for the players which will include attending a local school, daily world-class coaching and regular tournament trips, with science, medicine and welfare support integrated into the programme. Players will attend Loughborough Amherst School, part of the Loughborough Schools Foundation and Dollar Academy near Stirling, who are key partners in the Academy set-up.

The National Academies will be overseen by experienced junior and pro tour coaches Nick Cavaday in Loughborough and Leo Azevedo in Stirling.

Nick has overseen the progress of ATP players such as Aljaz Bedene into the world's Top 50,  while also enjoying success with British players in singles and doubles at both senior and junior level. Leo coached former world number one Juan Carlos Ferrero and spent eight years as an Academy and head coach at the United States Tennis Association supporting the development of a string of WTA and ATP top 100 players, including four world number one junior players.

"It's a really exciting time for all of the young players and for us at Loughborough" Cavaday said. "We've got a great group of young people coming and we look forward to spending more time with them on and off the court and getting them settled into a new way of life. We will build bespoke programmes based on their educational, emotional and sporting needs with a view to maximising the potential they have shown so far."

Leo Azevedo coached at the USTA Academy and is excited about the benefits that the set-up can bring to British tennis. "Bringing the best young players together creates a winning environment. They push each other, they motivate each other and importantly - they create a culture for others to aspire to in the future. That drives up standards year after year."

The players who form the first National Academy intake are:

GB National Tennis Academy at the University of Stirling

Player  Current Coach County
Henry Jefferson Ali Filmer Surrey
Sam Reeve Ben Haran Cheshire
Hannah Read Jamie Fallis Hertfordshire
Hephzibah Oluwadare Jamie Fallis Hertfordshire
Millie Skelton Tom Loughton Yorkshire
Ella McDonald Jim Edgar Lancashire 
Talia Neilson-Gatenby John Black Leicestershire

Loughborough University National Tennis Academy

Player Current Coach County
Eva Shaw John Black Nottinghamshire
Hugo Coquelin Luke Milligan Kent
Ranah Stoiber Neil Bamford Middlesex
Sophya Devas Paul Fisher Middlesex
Henry Searle Phillip Wagner Staffordshire
Luca Pow Gary Naughton Warwickshire
Given Roach Jamie Evans Middlesex
Kylie Bilchev Jeremy Cowley Suffolk

Learn more about the National Academies

Visit our National Academies webpage for further information about the programme and the selected centres.

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