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A love of tennis and strong competitive advantage in the sport continues for Year 10 student Ella.
The gifted tennis player was selected among the top four players in the state from Independent girls’ schools to join the NSW Independent Girls School Sports Association (IGSSA) representative team.
Ella, who first picked up a racquet at age 4, will head to Brisbane in September to compete in the Tri-State Challenge.
At 15, she is currently 210th in Australia in the Open Women's ranking and in the top 10 of players her age. Ella was also among the final 16 players in the 2016 Tildesley Shield Tennis 5th round.
“It is an honour to make the IGSSA team because I never thought I would get in and I love playing in a team environment,” she said.
Ella said she has always loved to play tennis, though the reasons for this have evolved in her 11 years on court. She began to play competitively in Medibank Junior Development round robins at age 10 and junior tennis tournaments two years later. She now plays in opens, balancing study and life outside of school with competition.
“When I was younger I loved playing tennis with my friends. As I have gotten older I love tennis because it keeps me fit and healthy,” Ella said.
“I love playing the competitions and I still enjoy the social aspect. Tournament organisers don’t put the draw up until the night before so it’s hard to make plans for the weekend with your friends.
“I also train six times a week which means I have a tight schedule for doing school work and try and finish off all the work off in class.”
Ella is also part of the Christian Independent Schools (CIS) representative team, which competed in the Pizzey Cup, the Australian School Teams Championships, at Bathurst in March.
“I felt a bit nervous playing in the Pizzey cup trials for the CIS team because there was a bit of pressure because the CIS team won it last year. Also because my dad was in the same position as I was in when he was younger and he got into the NSW team.”
“My favourite tennis player is Jordan Thompson, because he works hard for every point. He also has great sportsmanship.”
The Tri-State Challenge is on September 22.