Hackney tennis champs of the future receive top backing

Youngsters set to scale the heights.

FIVE junior tennis prot�g�s from Hackney have been selected to join the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) AEGON FutureStars programme. Callum Pollard-Smith, 15, Savannah Sills, 13, Tiffany William, 6, all of Stoke Newington, Lucas Taylor, 13, of Shoreditch, and Lauryn John-Baptiste, 11, of Hackney Wick, have all earned their place on this years programme.

The AEGON programme recognises and supports 375 of the best juniors in the country, supplying various levels of support and funding to their LTA coaching programmes.

The players earned their spot on the programme after a successful year on court, with several retaining the status from last year. Under 10s are chosen on the basis of a Talent ID assessment, whilst juniors above 10 are assessed on their national and international rankings.

Steven Martins, Player Director of the LTA, said: “It’s an exciting time for British tennis with so many promising young players coming through the junior ranks.

“Identifying talent from a young age is crucial for player development but also for the future success of the sport. The new 2011 intake of players showcases a wealth of talent across different age groups and we hope that all of the AEGON FutureStars will go on to reach their full potential through the support we provide.”

Pollard-Smith, Sills, Taylor and John-Baptiste all train at the Hackney City Tennis Clubs in Clissold Park which has been working with children in Hackney schools since 2001, to provide them with quality coaching and a hunger for tennis.

Most Read

The AEGON FutureStars programme has received support from Britain’s number one women’s tennis player, Elena Baltacha.

Elena, who is a member of the Team AEGON group of elite players, said: “It’s really important that players get the right level of support from a young age so they can develop their skills and grow as tennis players.”

Hackney City tennis Clubs can be contacted on 0207 254 4235.