Congratulations to Year 10 pupil Aaron Osmond who was a finalist at the Boys’ U16 Winter Regional Tennis Tournament in Swindon. This was one of six competitions played across the whole country and players gain entry by ranking. In September Aaron was ranked 16th, having risen from 100th place.

At the tournament, Aaron’s lack of match practice was evident in thefirstset of his first round match but he ran outcomfortably in the end and thiswas followed by a successful quarter final. In the semis he impressively outplayed a big hitting opponent 6-3 6-2 and in the final, met a highly ranked opponent two years older, who had dropped just a few games in his previous three matches. The quality of tennis was outstanding with Aaron matching his far more experienced opponent, separated by just a few points until he lost the first set 4-6 and was forced to retire at 1-4 in the second due to injury. Despite the loss, Aaron’s performance impressed many of the people watching.

This year Aaron was presented with the Mary Eyre Award for the outstanding male junior for 2015 at the Gloucestershire LTA Awards. Having qualified for the finals of the Road to Wimbledon he came within a point of taking the eventual winner, from India, to a match tie break. In October he played his first International event (in Thailand)and has been selected for the U18 county squad to play in the County Cup in March.

Significantly, Aaron has achieved all of this without a coach, unlike most players. Tennis is a very demanding sport and Aaron trainsabout 12-15 hourseach week during term and even more during school holidays.