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Tennis Foundation – Performance University Tennis

February 2, 2020


One of the biggest changes I think within
British Universities is its professionalism. I think it’s taken a massive jump up in terms
of the quality of the programme, the coaches involved and the structure as well. The competitive structure of the BUCS leagues
I think has got better in the last few years with the introduction of the National Premier
League. Having the top six universities, male and female teams playing off against each
other straight away. I like the Super Weekends. It’s a great atmosphere
around the whole place. It feels a lot more like County Cup, having
all the other teams here. I absolutely love playing as part of the team
in Durham. My team mates are all really fantastic. We’ve got an incredible offer now that’s grown,
so my experience over the past 5 years. The level of playing across the board, the programmes
on offer to performance players across all the universities are incredible. We have a lot of academic flexibility, so
you can train as a part time student, a full time student and a single unit student, and
you can study online, which allows you to travel a lot and aspire to be a top pro. The standard training programme at Loughborough
is pretty intense. I train a lot. I play with the full time academy
at Bath, 2-3 hours a day of tennis and on top of that I get 3 S&C a week. The training is very individualised and it
just means I can improve in ways that I need to. At British team level, not only do they have
a coach, a manager, sport psychologists, and the TASS programme, but beyond that there
is the Tennis Foundation and the support it brings. The Winning Students Programme up in Scotland
helps an awful lot with players like Maia Lumsden, and Jonny O’Mara, and Scott Duncan,
who are looking to take tennis to the highest levels. I’d definitely say it’s a great opportunity
to keep playing, keep improving your game as well, studying in the UK as well, then
it’s a great chance to do it in the UK. The players on the highest standard, the total
amount of court hours for training purposes is excellent. University tennis in the UK is definitely
growing. I remember from when I was a first player here, the level has increased dramatically. And you can play almost full time at university.
Our subs are about £280 this year. You could be on court everyday and in the gym everyday.
You can getting psychology, you could be having physio, so the value for money is just – at
no other time in your tennis career would you get that. After they finish university, we’ve also developed
several transition programmes – the TASS Pro Player Coach, the University Tennis Coordinator
programme. These are all our transition programmes from university perhaps to work in tennis
after they finish.

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