Just over 10 years ago, we took on at Everyball Tennis & HaltonUK a promising young 12 year old Katy Dunne from Batchwood Tennis Centre where her then coaches had done a great job on setting her on a journey towards becoming a professional tennis player.
By 14 years old Katy was ranked inside the top 10 in Europe and in order to travel and train more she left school and with the superb support of her parents embarked on a full-time programme of tennis and education with us at Halton.
In order to further support Katy on her travels alongside the LTA High Performance programme (Katy also spent time at the National Tennis Centre under coach Jane O'Donaghue) we developed a (still ongoing) scheme called, 'Keep the dream alive' (KTDA) - the dream being to see an Everyball trained player compete in the Main Draw of Wimbledon (or indeed another grand slam). Through this scheme, led by Alec Clapperton, Halton adult members contribute into a monthly fund that contributes to the overall investment that Halton makes to support our up and coming junior players.
By 18 years old, and with the help of our own Pete Thorne (now coaching in Sydney, Australia but still in close contact) who travelled extensively with Katy in those last couple of years of her junior career, Katy had broken into the worlds top 10 ITF junior world rankings.
Since that time, Katy has worked and travelled tirelessly on the women's ITF circuit, recently breaking into the world top 200. Over the last couple of years she has been based at Gosling Tennis Centre under the watchful eye of coach Richard Hawkes who has done a superb job in bringing Katy on in this critical phase of her career.
Yesterday, Hertfordshire's Katy Dunne (turned 23 in Feb) was delighted to hear that, on the basis of her progress of late, has received a wild-card into the Main Draw Singles of Wimbledon and all of us at Everyball and Halton would like to say a massive 'well done' to you Katy and we'll be backing you all the way in a couple of weeks time when you take to the courts for your maiden Grand Slam singles event. This is only the beginning for you!!
A massive thanks to all those original members of KTDA who contributed to making this possible.
See Katy training here at Halton back in 2011!