Tennis club celebrates junior coaching success
Maria Budin has a full tennis scholarship at Rice University in the US after starting her career at Downend & Frenchay Tennis Club
DOWNEND & Frenchay Tennis Club is throwing the spotlight on some of the successful products of its junior coaching programme.
The young players all started their tennis careers at DFTC, learning to play in various age groups and competing in competitions suited to their ability.
Many more players have simply enjoyed learning skills which they can use for life.
The club's success stories include:
• Maria Budin – currently on a full scholarship at Rice University in Texas with their Division 1 Team.
• Kiera Gunning – currently on a partial scholarship at Averett University in Virginia, with their Division 3 team.
• George King – currently on the competition circuit with the aim of gaining a tennis scholarship at a US university.
The club is also celebrating the selection of five players for the Avon County Performance Squad, playing both at both National and Regional Level Competitions: Dominic Foley, Arthur King, Tom Bewley, Kadie Robinson and Poppy Rickwood.
Kadie was recently selected for the qualifying draw at the Tennis Europe singles tournament and qualified for the main draw in the doubles tournament.
Three other players – Jamie Salmon, Maya Glanvill and Sofia Anderson – have been picked for the county performance squad and are also playing regional level competitions, while Florence Butel and Isabella Butel have also been selected for the county performance squad.
Avon Tennis Performance introduced a new Under-8 category in 2021, which saw James Dick and Thomas Glanvill selected for the county performance squad.
Poppy Rickwood started playing tennis at DFTC when she was six years old. Her potential was spotted by Pete Caseley at an after-school club and she was invited to the club where, under the performance coaching of head coach Andy Hutton, Poppy’s tennis has gone from strength to strength over ten years, and she has regularly competed in junior league, regional and national tournaments.
Poppy's mum Samantha said: "Enjoyment has always been our number one focus – but she still loves to win! It’s fantastic to see her play and we’re so proud of what she has achieved."
Dominic Foley started playing at the age of six and is currently in the U14 Boys Avon County Performance Training Squad. He won the U11 Boys Singles Avon County Championships in 2020 was also chosen to represent Avon in the 2020 County Cup.
Tom Bewley joined DFTC in the spring of 2015 with his brother Jack and both still attend the club, with Tom captaining the Avon team and playing in regional and national finals.
Dad Nigel said: "I'm sure both my sons will continue to play tennis as adults and get the social and health benefits which you get from a good club."
For more information about the club visit www.downendandfrenchay.co.uk.