Three of Devon’s most talented young tennis players have been offered the chance of a lifetime to play on the world’s most famous grass courts at The Championships, Wimbledon this year.
Louis Davey (age 9 from Bude), Matt Rutter [age 9 from Exeter) and Emily Syms [age 10 from Teignmouth]* who are all with Team Flybe in the South West, have been chosen to be part of a national pool of less than 20 talented players nationwide to showcase their tennis talents in an LTA mini tennis session on the hallowed courts at the All England Club.
“I always watch Wimbledon on TV and it’s my dream to play at Wimbledon when I grow up, so to get the chance to be there and play on those famous courts is so exciting. I can’t wait,” said Emily following her selection.
Debbie Hale, LTA Talent Performance Manager, adds: “I am so pleased that these kids have been rewarded for all their hard work with such an amazing trip. I know it will inspire them to even greater things as part of ‘Team Flybe’.”
The players were chosen after excelling as part of the Flybe Mini Masters’ Tennis programme in recent years and LTA Tennis Development Manager, Georgina Loosemore says ‘how great it is to see that these talented players who started in Mini Masters achieve such high success so quickly’.
‘Team Flybe’ evolved from Flybe’s Mini Masters’ programme that was launched in 2009 to offer opportunities to budding tennis stars in the South West, at a time when only a handful of young players in the region were competing to national standard. Aspiring young players start at the development stage on the Flybe ‘Mini Masters’ circuits and finals, with those showing particular talent then progressing through the ‘player pathway’ with the strongest being invited to join the elite ‘Team Flybe’ where they are supported to compete at the highest national junior level.
Simon Lilley, Flybe’s Director of Marketing, said: “When a number of our players reached the national rankings last year we thought they’d really hit the top of their game, but it seems their talent knows no limit. Everyone at Flybe is immensely proud of the Mini Masters programme and the role it has played in helping nurture the sporting talent of Louis, Matt and Emily, which has led to them being selected take part in this demonstration match at Wimbledon.
“We very much hope to see them competing on Centre Court in The Championships itself one day, and hope that their success this summer will continue to inspire many more local youngsters to get involved in the sport.”
The 2013 Summer Flybe Mini Masters’ programme is already in progress with matches being played at tennis centres throughout the South West region, with the Finals taking place at the end of August.