Spotlight on Thornbury Tennis Club
Originally published on: 04/03/14 00:00
How did you get into tennis?
I started playing tennis when I was about ten – my mum took me up to the local school and I played in a mini-tennis tournament and I got to the semi-finals. The coaches came along and took me on and I’ve played ever since.
When I was 17 or 18 I played full-time academy. Tennis is an expensive sport and I was having to coach on the sidelines as well to pay for me to travel to tournaments. I never really got to where I wanted to be and when my daughter was born I started coaching full-time because the money was more important!
How long have you been at Thornbury?
About eight years. I started off at Almondsbury and then moved to the indoor county centre at Coombe Dingle. I’ve also been rackets manager at David Lloyd.
What attracted you to the club?
I grew up around the corner so I know the area and I saw a lot of potential and scope to really develop the club. It was always known as being an older club but there are a couple of high schools in the area and plenty of primary schools as well as some childrens clubs and I thought we could really build it and turn it into a family club.
What’s the best thing about your job?
Seeing the youngsters really improve. I had one kid who could barely hit a tennis ball when he started but now he is the top county player in his age group (Under 10) and improving all the time.
I've also got a 15-year-old boy who I have worked with since he was nine and who has shown an unbelievable work rate over the years playing in all conditions. He's now starting to reap the rewards and over last six months has playing a couple of ITF junior events in Dubai and Scofland.
I’ve worked with all ages and abilities, adults and juniors, but now I focus on the junior performance programme with the kids who are competing in tournaments. I’ve got four coaches working for me now and my brother heads up the adult coaching.
What’s the worst thing about being a tennis coach?
The weather! At this time of year being out in the rain and the cold. The kids still want to play tennis rain or shine so we will be wrapped up playing in all conditions!
What three words would you use to describe Thornbury?
Family-oriented, up-and-coming, fun
Who would be your dream doubles partner?
It would have to be Pete Sampras. I love the way he plays and it would be nice to be on the court when he did a Slam Dunk!
Thornbury Tennis Club_ь
Mundy Playing Fields, Off Kington Lane, Thornbury, _ьBS35 1NA_ь