Scholarships for talented tennis sisters

Bury Times: SISTER ACT Olivia and Alexis Peet SISTER ACT Olivia and Alexis Peet

Looking to follow in the footsteps of Wimbledon sisters Venus and Serena Williams, two siblings from Bury have once again been included on the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) Aegon FutureStars programme, which recognises and supports some of the best juniors in the country.

Olivia and Alexis Peet, from Holcombe Brook, have earned their place on the programme following another successful year on court.

Olivia, aged 14, and Alexis, aged 11, have been on the scheme for the past few years and have recently moved schools in order to further develop in their sport.

Father Chris, who is the LTA’s talent and performance manager for the north of England, said: “In September, the girls moved to Queenswood School in Hertfordshire on a tennis scholarship, which links in to Gosling High Performance Centre.

“With the two of them playing tennis, logistically it was very difficult with transport, finance and programmes, so Heather (wife) and I made the decision to send them to Queenswood.”

“Living in the north means it's quite a distance, so they board down there now.”

The emerging young stars have competed in several regional and national events in the past six months.

Former Woodhey High School pupil, Olivia, lost 6-3, 6-1, to Lily Ghodrati in the final of the Winter National Tour under-14s girls’ event in January, to qualify for the masters – which is for the top 16 girls in the country. She reached the quarter-finals of the Invitational Winter National Tour Finals u14s girls’ event, losing 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 to Esther Adeshina at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, London in February.

Over the past few months, Olivia has also won the u16s girls Lancashire Winter Regional Tour, the u16s North of England Christmas Challenge and the Bucks ITI Winter Regional Tour. She also took part in the Bath University Winter National Tour.

Alexis, reached the final of the Bucks ITI Winter Regional Tour u12s girls’ event in January, beating Elisa Van Meeteren 2-6, 6-2 [10-2] to qualify for the Gosling TC Winter National Tour u12s girls. She lost in the last 16 to Tamara Burdiashvili, 6-2 6-2, at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, London in February.

Alexis was also runner-up in the North of England u12s girls’ Christmas Challenge.

The sisters have both recently received some much-needed sponsorship from sports manufacturer, Head, for tennis rackets, clothing and equipment, and are on course to be among the top 30 tennis players in Great Britain by the time they are 16.

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