Monica Raviraj (M5V) updates us on her tennis season so far this year and her progress with the Young Norfolk Sports Academy (YNSA). Young Norfolk Sports Academy is an initiative led by Norwich School to enable young athletes in Norfolk to maximise their potential. As featured in the EDP 8th December 2016.
As I look back on my tennis path since 2008, I realise that I have come a long way, winning many national and international medals and trophies.
I was selected to represent Great Britain in November last year against France and I felt honoured to represent our country. It was an amazing experience and, with that exposure, I started my tour to the USA.
I started playing in the Eddie Herr International Junior Championships 2015 on Florida's west coast. Then I travelled to Miami for a week of pre-tournament training. The following week I travelled to Florida to sign in at the IMG Tennis Academy to compete in the 54th Annual Junior Orange Bowl 2015 International Tennis Championships.
At the players' party, my dream came true when I met the great tennis legend, Nick Bollettieri. He was such an interesting person to speak to; he talked to me about the importance of school in junior tennis and shared valuable tennis experience and tips. Whilst in Florida I met top junior tennis players from all over the world.
This year has been very important for me. I travelled to Europe and Asia to play European and ITF tournaments. The results were amazing from UK and European tournaments. I was the European doubles runner-up in Iceland and Nottingham. In January I was again selected to represent Great Britain, against the USA. My highest ranking for girls U14 was number one in the UK and 127 in Europe. My aim is to achieve ITF ranking next year.
I am currently studying in year 10 at Norwich School and enjoy getting to spend time with my friends.
Apart from working very hard in my tennis training, I also attend full-time school. The school head is very supportive and I always have support from teachers when I need to miss lessons and school sports lessons when I am in fitness training.
The YNSA has been invaluable. I enjoyed my first year attending workshops, lectures from sports personalities and physical screening. My favourite workshop was sharing experiences with other athletes who have gone through difficult times like myself.
YNSA supported me last year with off court training. This year I am focusing on nutrition to increase my on court presence and injury prevention as I missed the summer season due to my wrist injury.
I have got incredible support from my family who have given me their time and extensive financial support. I am grateful for their sacrifices. I would like to thank my family, friends, the LTA, my coaching team, our community and the EDP for their continued support.