America calling for Norfolk women’s number one Maddie Brooks
- Credit: Submitted
Norfolk's Maddie Brooks has been awarded a full scholarship to the University of North Florida in Jacksonville, America.
Currently ranked Norfolk's number one female player, Maddie, from Wymondham, had been considering her options post A levels.
Having competed nationally throughout her junior career, she has decided to head for America, enabling her to continue tennis and academic studies at a high level.
A full scholarship means all of Maddie's fees are covered. This includes accommodation, flights, tennis training and academia, and she will receive free sports kit, physiotherapy and massage.
'The scholarship means I can continue to develop my tennis at a really good level,' said the 25-year-old. 'There are players in the colliegate system that have high WTA rankings so I know it's going to improve my game. I am really excited about travelling across America, and playing for the team instead of myself will be a new experience also, something I cannot wait for. The tennis coach at Jacksonville was three times NCAA player of the year and was 210 in the world so I will definitely learn more about the game.'
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Maddie is likely to be playing number three in a six-woman team and is confident she can adapt to life in America.
'I have been to America before and have always enjoyed the place,' she said. 'We will get to do plenty of travelling during the away matches. I love playing tennis and will be training three to four hours a day. I have yet to decide what course to study, but at the moment I am favouring something relating to sports psychology.'
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Starting in August 2015, Maddie will be competing in the NCAA top division in the Atlantic Sun Conference, between January and May, playing matches every weekend before hopefully making the NCAA National finals.
If the University of North Florida make the national finals, Maddie could come up against another Norfolk player, Pippa Horn, now in her second year at the University of Texas, a top-25 ranked team, and is likely to major in psychology also.
Pippa was thrilled to hear Maddie's news: 'It's great to have a fellow Norfolk team player out here. The standard is really high, with players good enough to be top 200 WTA. Combining up to four hours of tennis training with four hours of study each day is a heavy schedule. But it is going great and I am really enjoying myself.
'In my first year I won the regional doubles which meant I qualified for the national finals at Flushing Meadows, so that was fun, going to New York. I was also the big 12 league champion in my position. I hope to play higher up the team this year and ultimately play number one for the Texas Longhorns.'