C Oram interviews Year 8 tennis prodigy, E Whyte.
Year 8 student, E Whyte, is Knights Templar’s very own tennis star. She’s travelled all over the country and won countless awards (see Photo A). Today, she sat down with NewsKnight and answered some questions.
NK: How old were you when you started tennis?
EW: I first started when I was about 5 ½ years old.
NK: How did you get started?
EW: It was summer, and my family and I were on a walk in a park when we came across a tennis court. Just for fun, my dad showed me how to do a few serves, but I really loved it. My dad used to play cricket, but the club had been turned into a tennis court so he signed me up for lessons and I’ve been playing ever since!
NK: When did you realise that you wanted to do tennis professionally?
EW: When I was seven, I was good enough to do county training, which means I was scouted to train with the best kids in the county.
NK: How often do you train per week?
EW: Well, it depends on the weather but I always train on Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday but I try to play every day for at least an hour.
NK: What’s your favourite part about tennis?
EW: Meeting people in tournaments, travelling around the country and I just enjoy hitting the ball after a long day.
NK: On the other hand, what’s your least favourite part about tennis?
EW: When playing at a higher level it can be extremely stressful because you’re all on your own on the court. Also, I can get injuries easily and tennis is a very competitive sport.
NK: Where’s the best place you’ve gotten to travel to?
EW: I did a tournament in Bournemouth and the club was so nice and right on a beach.
NK: What’s your biggest achievement?
EW: The national tournament, so it consisted of the best players from all over Britain, there were 32 contestants and I came second.
NK: Do you have any goals for the coming years?
EW: Since I’m getting older, I really want to win a national tournament and move on from there.
NK: What are you most excited about for 2022?
EW: Because I’m 13, if I do well in important tournaments, I win quite large prize money and getting to meet a bunch more people.
NK: Finally, what would you say to anyone who would like to start a competitive sport like tennis?
EW: Practice and work ethic is soimportant. It's important to do lots of tournaments so you can progress to more advanced competitions; I know it sounds cheesy but dream big.