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Martha Harris, 16, of Bingham, chosen for the LTA Wheelchair National Age Group Programme (NAGP)

A promising young tennis player has been selected for the LTA’s top support programme for junior wheelchair players.

Martha Harris, 16, is one of 12 high potential players chosen for the LTA Wheelchair National Age Group Programme (NAGP) which provides a variety of coaching, competition and educational support.

Martha Harris at the National Wheelchair Tennis Championships. Credit: LTA (34635777)
Martha Harris at the National Wheelchair Tennis Championships. Credit: LTA (34635777)

The programme is designed to educate and develop players as they transition through the LTA’s World Class Wheelchair Tennis Performance Pathway, allowing them to be best prepared to become international athletes.

As part of the NAGP, Harris, from Bingham, will have access to training and tournament guidance from LTA coaches, training camps, home training visits from LTA coaches and support to maintain a sport/life balance.

Harris started playing wheelchair tennis towards the end of 2015 after attending a come-and-try day during the British Open Wheelchair Tennis Championships in Nottingham.

She benefits from a variety of training venues around the East Midlands, including Loughborough University, Nottingham Tennis Centre and Grantham Tennis Club.

A former medallist at the National School Games, Harris has also enjoyed success in junior draws at LTA National Wheelchair Tennis Series tournaments.

However, her biggest career success to date came earlier this year when she won the women’s singles at the National Series Wheelchair Tennis Series event in Newport, South Wales.

Players who continue to show high potential at the end of their NAGP support will advance to the next stage of the pathway, which currently supports multiple Grand Slam champions Gordon Reid, Alfie Hewett ,and Andy Lapthorne.

Rob Cross, LTA wheelchair performance head coach, said: “Martha has shown great potential and now has access to a fantastic package of support which will hopefully allow her to develop even further both as a player and a person.

“The standards of the sport across the world continue to advance and this programme is designed to help us stay ahead of the pack and maximise the potential of our best players.

“The pathway provides a seamless route for our highest potential players to progress from junior competition to playing major tournaments.”

Harris, who has been benefitted from webinars provided by the LTA during the lockdown, said: “I am really excited to have been selected for the NAGP.

“It will give me the opportunity to train more, to work with some great coaches to improve my skills and to start to play internationally.

“I’m already getting lots of insights into what it is like to be a performance player, with support from the LTA in every aspect, from improving performance through nutrition to online strength and conditioning sessions during the lockdown.”

For more information about the LTA Player Pathway and ten-year Performance Strategy, visit www.lta.org.uk.

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