The Heron Tennis Centre's Ace Academy: Developing Top Players
Since the opening of Newquay's Heron Tennis Centre (Cornwall's only professionally run tennis venue and the home of Cornwall LTA), one of it's main aims has been to offer talented, aspiring and committed young players the opportunities to fulfill their potential. Heron's Ace Academy offers players these opportunities by providing a structure, which includes: small squad coaching sessions; fitness programmes; structured hitting sessions; practice matches; watching and learning from professional players by visiting the Wimbledon qualifying event; making annual plans and setting goals; clay court competitions in Germany; and tournament visits. Ace Academy works closely with local primary schools and also secondary schools. For example, both Truro School and Tretherras School provide flexibility and allowances in pupils' weekly schedules to those few players who are deserving in order to help them maintain their serious tennis programmes. Ace Academy provides the stepping stones for aspiring players: from playing once a week on Heron's Saturday and Sunday Fun Coaching sessions; to after school squad sessions; to the Ace Academy's small squads; to representing Heron's club team and the Cornwall teams; and competing in junior and senior individual competitions in Cornwall, the South-west, other venues around Britain, and overseas e.g. Germany. As players progress into their teenage years, some may aim to play university tennis in the US and UK by way of tennis scholarships, which has been a proven stepping stone to playing pro tennis during a degree and after graduation. Ace Academy is also thankful for its close links with other programmes, which provide our players with access to extra training sessions.
In addition to developing local young talent in the Newquay area, players from around Cornwall have also been attracted to our Ace Academy. One of those players is Claire Tresidder, from Falmouth, who has been a County Champion in singles, doubles and mixed doubles on numerous occasions, in both junior and senior events. Claire is one of the most successful female players in Cornish history! In a recent interview, Claire explained why she joined Ace Academy and how it has helped her tennis development: