Sky’s the limit for Young Norfolk Sports Academy tennis ace Monica Raviraj in bid to make 2017 her year

YNSA tennis star Monica Raviraj poses with the Davis Cup. Photo: Supplied

YNSA tennis star Monica Raviraj poses with the Davis Cup. Photo: Supplied - Credit: Archant

In the latest of our updates from the Young Norfolk Sports Academy tennis starlet Monica Raviraj updates us on her recent progress.

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.

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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.

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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.

YNSA Junior Masterclasses

The Young Norfolk Sports Academy hosted its second Junior Masterclass, with aspiring elite athletes aged 12-15 from schools across Norfolk attending the session which ran with an Olympic theme.

The attendees were shown strength and conditioning exercises, given guidance on how to develop their mental toughness and attended a workshop about using nutrition to stay at your peak during winter training. The day concluded with the unique opportunity to hear from Team GB Olympic hockey gold medallist Shona McCallin about her journey to success at Rio.

Applications for future Junior Masterclasses are open to those athletes competing at county level sport or above. If you are interested in hearing about the next Junior Masterclass email for information.

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