Grantham Tennis Club's young Elijah is added to LTA National Pathway List
Grantham Tennis Club and Gym member and Nottinghamshire County tennis player Elijah Killen-Smith has been added to the Lawn Tennis Association's National Pathway List for 2021/2022.
The National Pathway List is the first stage of the Under-14 National Performance Pathway.
It means that he has been identified as a hard working and skilful young player who has the potential to develop into a future champion, and as having the potential for national junior competition success.
He has been a member of the club's performance programme, newly sponsored by Larkfleet Group, for several years.
The programme aims to attract athletic children into the game and nurture their tennis development while providing local, welcoming, inspiring and affordable training and competition.
The children in the programme, aged seven to 10 years old, are developing a love for tennis and aspire to compete at county and regional levels.
Under-10 performance programme coach Lewis Rae said: "It is an excellent achievement for Elijah to be recognised for his hard work over the past year coming out of lockdown. He has kept his head down and pushed himself each session and tournament.
"After coaching him for just over four years now, seeing how he has progressed is amazing. It is all down to the hard work he puts in. He is a joy to coach."
Elijah's ranking currently sits at 18th in the UK for under-11s and 66th for the above age group.
Andy Barnes, National Age Group Coach, added: "Congratulations. This is a terrific achievement and something you should be proud of. We look forward to supporting you on your journey to becoming a champion both on and off the court."
Elijah couldn't quite believe it when he read the email. He said: "I felt so happy and proud. I really want to keep on building on this brilliant opportunity.
"I had worked really hard in tournaments through the summer and competed well, and this was an amazing reward for all the hard work. This has given me even more determination to work hard and continue to improve.”