New Breed is gathering pace
The Comet s column in association with Letchworth Tennis Club contains all the news, views and future events at the club Letchworth Tennis Club s New Breed programme for full-time tennis players is expanding at a rapid rate. New Breed has grown rapidly s
The Comet's column in association with Letchworth Tennis Club contains all the news, views and future events at the club
Letchworth Tennis Club's New Breed programme for full-time tennis players is expanding at a rapid rate.
New Breed has grown rapidly since it started in September.
Nine players now access the academy either part-time or full-time, and performances in competition and training have been steadily improving.
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The club have also been pleased with the improvement in fitness levels of the players, and lack of injuries, despite the fact that the players are training twice a day.
New Breed runs under a very specific ethos - that the player runs all aspects of their lives in a professional manner.
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This means that players take responsibility for what they do off-court as well as on-court.
One example of this is the players' attitudes to academic study.
All New Breed players receive tuition throughout the week and have to maintain set academic standards - otherwise, time is taken out of their training.
Beds and Herts education authorities visited New Breed to assess the children and standard of education, and both gave glowing reports for both areas.
Another example of player responsibility is their ability to follow professional routines.
This means turning up to training with the right equipment, eating and drinking correctly throughout the day and sleeping for 45 minutes after lunch to allow sufficient recovery between training sessions.
This has not been easy for some players - but in the last month all have started to accept these routines as part of their professional schedule, which gives them a great head-start in their aims to become professional sportspeople.
New Breed has fitted in well with Letchworth Tennis Club as a whole and other institutions such as St Christopher School who provide amazing food every lunchtime.
Coaches and players eat together every weekday, and the nutritional quality of the food means the coaching, as well as the players, have never been so healthy in their lives.
It is also great that members of the tennis centre and school have been so supportive of the academy, constantly asking on the progress of the players.
Letchworth are excited about the progress of the players and the club are looking forward to tournaments this year. They are confident that the progress seen so far in recent tournaments will continue in 2007.
* The club recently hosted its annual Letchworth Indoor Junior Open Tennis Tournament for players in the under-10 and under-18 age groups.
The event, held on the club's three indoor courts, attracted a strong entry from neighbouring counties.
The highlight of the tournament for local tennis was the boys' under-10 singles final between Lewis Roskilly of Stevenage's Lister Tennis Club and Toby Nicholson of Letchworth.
Roskilly, who is county champion at this age, overcame Nicholson 7-6, 6-4 in a contest of high quality. Both players had reached the final without dropping a set.
Andrew Johnson from Buckinghamshire, ranked in the top 50 at under-18 level nationally, dominated the boys' under-18 singles event with some stylish play.
Johnson overcame Herts junior Sam Chamberlain 6-3, 6-2 in the final. Chamberlain fought his way through a tough draw to make the final.
Number two seed Ciara Haggarty from Warwickshire upset top seeded Sharna McNally from Bedford in a tight under-18 girls' singles final.
Haggarty won 7-6, 7-5 and is now the holder of the tournament's under-14 and under-18 titles.