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LTA’s New World Tennis Tour Tournament At Bolton Arena

North West duo among strong British field competing in LTA’s new World Tennis Tour tournament at Bolton Arena.

Free entry to watch world-class tennis from 1-7 April

Liam & Naomi Broady hoping for success in home region

Laura Robson, Harriet Dart and Jack Draper also among Brits competing

New tournament being staged by LTA to provide more opportunities for British players to compete at home, and to open up tennis to fans around the country

Stockport’s Liam and Naomi Broady will be hoping for success on home soil next week as the LTA stages a new men’s and women’s World Tennis Tour event in the North West.

The Broadys are part of a strong British contingent taking on players from around the world on the indoor courts at the USN Bolton Arena, with the likes of Laura Robson, Harriet Dart and up-and-coming Jack Draper also competing from 1-7 April.

Both the men’s and the women’s events have a total prize money pot of $25,000, and are a part of the new ITF World Tennis Tour.  The Bolton indoor event is part of an expanded international calendar of tournaments being staged by the LTA in Britain this year, providing a showcase for tennis outside of the traditional summer grass court season and opening up the sport to more fans around the country.  The move also aligns with the LTA’s new long-term Performance Strategy with the aim being to provide more opportunities for British players to compete, earn ranking points and win prize money in this country.

British Davis Cup player Liam Broady will be among the favourites to take the Bolton men’s title, with the 25-year-old going into the tournament as the highest ranked player at 296 in the world.

Speaking ahead of the tournament, GB No.8 Broady said: “I’m really excited to be playing the new LTA tournament in Bolton. I’m thrilled to be playing a tournament on my doorstep and it would be great to have some local friends and fans come down and support myself and the other Brits over the course of the week. We’re keen to open up our sport to new fans throughout the year and this new tournament provides an opportunity to do just that.”

 There will also be huge interest around 17-year-old Draper.  The left-hander from Surrey sprung to prominence at Wimbledon last year in reaching the Boy’s Singles Final.  Since then, Draper has been solely competing on the men’s professional circuit, and last year became the first 16 year old to break into the world’s top 1,000.

The entry list for the women’s event is particularly strong, with five current top 200 players including Great Britain’s Harriet Dart.  Fresh from her involvement in Great Britain’s successful Fed Cup team back in February, the 22 year old reached a new career-high of 121 in the world earlier this year and will be looking to climb the rankings once again next week as she takes to the court.

Dart is joined in the draw by former British No.1 Laura Robson, who is competing in Bolton as part of her road to recovery from injury and will certainly be looking to use the event as a springboard to move back up the rankings.  North West hopes in the women’s event lie with GB No.6 Naomi Broady and Cheshire’s Samantha Murray.

The USN Bolton Arena has successfully staged an annual international professional wheelchair tennis event in recent years, and also regularly hosts junior competitions – Jack Draper competed there in 2015 at a 14&U Tennis Europe event.  However, next week will be the first time the venue’s world-class facilities have staged a professional men’s or women’s tournament since 2004, when a 17-year-old Andy Murray competed and future Grand Slam finalist Marcos Baghdatis won the title.

Richard Joyner, the LTA’s Tournament Director for the event, commented:

We are delighted to be bringing international tennis to Bolton as part of our work to open up tennis to more people.  While Wimbledon naturally always gets a lot of attention, tennis is played all year round and staging a new tournament such as this, is a great way of showcasing that.  With free entry throughout the week we’d encourage any local sports fans to come and take the opportunity to back the Brits and witness some great tennis on their doorstep. We have a really strong line-up in both the women’s and the men’s fields and it’s a great opportunity to see some future stars in the making!”

Qualifying is scheduled for Monday 1 April, with main draw starting on Tuesday 2 April. Both singles finals are scheduled for Sunday 7 April, with the doubles finals scheduled for Saturday.

Entry for spectators is free of charge throughout the week. Play will commence from 10am – 7pm from Tuesday 2nd April onwards. Live scoring will be available on the LTA website at www.lta.org.uk/gbps and the tournament will be live streamed from 1st April on http://live.itftennis.com/en/live-streams/.

The full updated entry list & order of play can be found at:

 

Tennis Update

Going Stateside

It has been a very productive and successful period for the academy. The RPDC programme which started in September has settled very well and the players achievements are going from strength to strength, with two of our older players having recently signed scholarships at American Universities. Grace Eland has signed for the University of South Florida and Matthew Clegg has signed for the University of Iowa.

Success Recap

We’ve enjoyed great success at County, Regional, National and International level in recent months. Take a look at our highlights below:

Lily Hutchings – Glasgow Senior British Tour Winner

Grace Eland – Glasgow British Tour Runner Up

Finn Murgett – Doubles Winner Finland ITF Grade 4

Peter Alam and Finn Murgett – ITF Doubles winners Liverpool Grade 5

Finn Murgett ITF Doubles winner Sweden Grade 3

Peter Alam – ITF Singles runner up Liverpool Grade 5

Peter Alam – ITF Doubles winner Norway Grade 5

Jonah Gethin – Runner Up Liverpool Tennis Europe Category 3

Jadesola Cole – National Tour 12U Winner Bolton

Ella McDonald – National Tour 14U Runner Up Nottingham

Alex Tikhonov – Runner Up Liverpool Tennis Europe Doubles

We have also had several players selected to attend National Camps, as pictured below:

Millie Skelton, Viktor Frydrych, Vlada Kozak, Lily Harper, Jo Mazingham

Players selected to represent Great Britain:

U14 vs Italy – Millie Skelton, Ella McDonald – Jan’19

U14 Winter Cup – Millie Skelton – Feb’19

U12 vs France – Lily Harper – Jan’19

U12 Winter Cup – Lily Harper – Feb’19

All of these players are a credit to Tennis at Bolton Arena and hopefully these successes are just the start of their journeys as tennis players.

Development

Our weekly junior courses have continued to record strong attendances with programme numbers now reaching 290. We have also recently added further classes on a Saturday and Sunday with the aim to try and reach 300 players by Easter. Evidence of the popularity of our adult courses is reflected in the delivery of coaching sessions over 2 evenings instead of 1 due to the increase in demand. The Cardio Tennis sessions which launched in mid-October have also made an encouraging start with lots of parents and gym users attending and trying tennis for the first time.

Tournament Update

After an extremely busy period over Christmas, we hosted an LTA Grade2 U12 27th – 30th December and our own Bolton Arena Christmas Grade 3, between 30th December – 6th January. The event attracted over 300 competitors.

The annual U14 Junior International Bolton commenced on the 11th January until 18th January. This event attracts players from all over the world.

The most recent international tournament was the IFT2 wheelchair event running from 19th – 23rd February.

What’s New?

We have added starter/beginner competitions for junior players who are attending our beginner/intermediate classes. The aim of these is to offer players of all levels the opportunity to compete and gain further experience. We are confident that these competitions will be prove popular and will help enthuse players to continue playing and develop their skills.

What’s Coming Up?

In conjunction with the LTA we have managed to secure our first ITF Pro Series tournament since 2004. This will be our first joint male/ female Pro Series tournament. The last event in 2004 saw a 17 year old Andy Murray in action. Marcos Bagdhatis won the title, an was then ranked 8 in the world just 2 years later, having reached the final of the Australian Open and semi-final of Wimbledon in 2016.

The tournament will attract players with world rankings between 180-280.

The qualifying event is scheduled for Monday 1 April, with main draw starting Tuesday 2 April playing through to the doubles final’s on Saturday 6 April, and singles finals on Sunday 7 April. Play is scheduled to start from 10.00am each day with the order of play confirmed on a daily basis.

Please follow the links below for further information:

Men: https://www.itftennis.com/procircuit/tournaments/men’s-tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100045231

Women: https://www.itftennis.com/procircuit/tournaments/women’s-tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100045250

The player entry list will appear on the links above after the entry deadline on Thursday 14 March.

The tournament will attract players with world rankings between 180-280.

Professional Tennis returns to USN Bolton Arena

As part of the ITF World Tennis Tour some players with a world ranking inside the top 200 will be converging on the Arena for this men’s & women’s $25,000 event. The ITF World Tennis Tour is the first stage of the professional tennis ladder, with the all of the current world’s top 10 having sharpened their skills at this level.

Bolton last staged an event at this level in 2004, a men’s event which saw a 17 year old Andy Murray in action. Marcos Bagdhatis won the title, an was then ranked 8 in the world just 2 years later, having reached the final of the Australian Open and semi-final of Wimbledon in 2016.

Tournament Director, Richard Joyner, commented ‘This really is a great opportunity to come to watch some professional tennis free of charge. A number of players competing at this level progress to the higher echelons of the game, as reflected by Marcos Baghdatis reaching a grand slam final, and the world’s top 10 within 2 years of capturing the 2004 Bolton title. The women’s event could attract some players already inside the world’s top 200, and the event promises to produce a great spectacle of men’s and women’s tennis’.

The qualifying event is scheduled for Monday 1 April, with main draw starting Tuesday 2 April playing through to the doubles final’s on Saturday 6 April, and singles finals on Sunday 7 April. Play is scheduled to start from 10.00am each day with the order of play confirmed on a daily basis.

Please follow the links below for further information:

Men: https://www.itftennis.com/procircuit/tournaments/men’s-tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100045231

Women: https://www.itftennis.com/procircuit/tournaments/women’s-tournament/info.aspx?tournamentid=1100045250

The player entry list will appear on the links above after the entry deadline on Thursday 14 March.

Indoor Wheelchair Tennis Tournament Returns For 2019

Former Champions Among World Class Entry For Sixth Bolton Indoor wheelchair Tennis Tournament

Five former champions, including leading Brit Jordanne Whiley and world No. 3 Aniek van Koot of the Netherlands are among more than 80 players from 22 countries in a star-studded field for the LTA’s 2019 Bolton Indoor Wheelchair Tennis Tournament, which takes place this week at USN Bolton Arena from Tuesday 29th to Saturday 23rd February.

Ten-time Grand Slam champion Whiley, the winner of the women’s singles in Bolton in 2015 and 2016, is attempting to make it back-to-back titles on home soil this week after being victorious over the weekend at the ITF 3 Series Wrexham Indoor.

The Wrexham event was Whiley’s first international tournament since winning a fourth Wimbledon doubles title in July 2017 and subsequently becoming a mum for the first time in January 2018.

Whiley said: “For my first international tournament since 2017 I certainly exceeded my expectations last week. Now I’m really excited for Bolton as there are more Top 10 players than last week and it’s a whole new challenge.

 “Compared to training I made some big improvements in certain aspects of my game last week, but I’ve also played better in training than some of the tennis I played in Wrexham and there’s still plenty to work on so it’s going to be an interesting week.”

 With Whiley set to regain a place on the International Tennis Federation’s world rankings next week, since she needs to have earned ranking points from a minimum of two tournaments, the former world No.3 will meet current world No.3 and 2014 and 2018 Bolton Indoor champion van Koot in Wednesday’s women’s singles second round this week.

 Whiley beat Germany’s world No.9 Katharina Kruger in Sunday’s final in Wrexham. Kruger and   van Koot are just two of four Top 10 players among the women’s singles entry in Bolton, which also includes current world No.8 Marjolein Buis, the 2017 Bolton Indoor champion and runner-up in last year’s all-Dutch final.

European players fill the bulk of the eight seeded positions for the men’s singles, which features seven of the world’s Top 20 and another strong Dutch entry headed by world No.10 Maikel Scheffers and world No.11 Tom Egberink.

Domestic interest in the men’s singles is led by British No.3 Dermot Bailey, a semi-finalist in singles and finalist in doubles in Wrexham last week. Bailey plays second seed Egberink for a place in the men’s quarter-finals.

Two former champions are among the entries for the quad singles, including another Dutch world No.10-ranked player, Sam Schroder. Schroder won the Bolton Indoor title in 2017 and lines up alongside Sweden’s 2015 champion Anders hard and leading Brits James Shaw, Antony Cotterill and Richard Green.

In addition to the world-class play, this year’s event sees the return of Bolton’s Junior Wheelchair Tournament taking place on Saturday 23rd and Sunday 24th February, with entries including six members of the GB Wheelchair Junior Futures Potential Programme.

Tournament Director Claire McCulloch commented: “This is the start of a vitally important season for international wheelchair tennis as players begin to think about qualification for the Tokyo Paralympics and that is reflected in the world class entry we have in Bolton. We are very excited to build on the success of last year’s inaugural Bolton Junior Wheelchair Tennis Tournament with many of the country’s top younger players joining us at the weekend. To have our world-class athletes play alongside stars of the future really helps to inspire upcoming talent and we would encourage all members of the public to come down to the arena and watch some world-class sport for free this week!”

The Bolton Indoor ITF 2 forms part of the International Tennis Federation’s UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour and is the second of seven world ranking wheelchair tennis tournaments to be held in Great Britain in 2019.

Entry for spectators is free throughout the duration of the tournament.

World’s Top Juniors On The Way To USN Bolton Arena

The Junior International Bolton, held here at USN Bolton Arena will take place from Friday 11th – Friday 18th January,  the tournament will see junior’s aged 14 & under converging on the north-west from all over the world.

The event, which is steeped in history, regularly attracts stars of the future. 2017 saw tennis legend Bjorn Borg in Bolton, overseeing his son Leo progress to the consolation singles finals. 2017 also saw a 12 year old Cori Gauff, capture the title, before remarkably going on to reach the final of the US Open Junior event 8 months later. Whilst Whitney Osuigwe,  who played Bolton in 2015 became world junior number 1, 2 years later.

On the boy’s side the 13 year old 2012 finalists, Francis Tiafoe and Michael Mmoh, are now ranked 44 and 102 in the ATP men’s pro ranking’s, whilst top seed in 2015 was Britain’s Jack Draper, who reached the Junior Wimbledon Boy’s Singles final this year, and is already inside the world’s top 500 at pro level aged only 16

Since the inaugural event as Teen Tennis in 1995, it has attracted a very strong field of rising stars from across the globe. A number of previous players having gone on to reach the world’s top 10 including Eugenie Bouchard, Caroline Wozniacki, Justine Henin, Kim Clijsters, Sir Andy Murray, Marcos Baghdatis, and Tomas Berdych.  In addition, Bolton runner up in 2011 Jelena Ostapenko, sensationally won the French Open in 2017, to become the world number 7.

Richard Joyner, Tournament Director, commented ‘This event really is where history and the future meet. The number of players who have gone on to reach the higher echelons of the pro game is seriously impressive. As well as the wealth of players from across the globe, it’s a great opportunity for player’s from the north-west, including some who train at the USN Bolton Arena, to compete against some of the world’s best 14&under players’.

Qualifying is Friday 11th and Saturday 12th January, with main draw Sunday 13th to Friday 18th January.

Entry for spectators is free of charge throughout the week.

As well as coming along to watch, the scores can be followed through:

www.lta.org.uk

www.tenniseurope.org

USN Bolton Arena Hits The Mark

This January we will be launching a brand new primary school programme, with the aim to deliver sessions to primary school children across the borough, as part of being a Regional Player Development Centre.

To launch this new programme, we have been working together with Bolton Council to attain the Bolton Mark.

The Bolton Mark, is an accreditation to show that an organisation working within the Bolton area is safe, friendly and effective. It sits alongside governing body accreditations and can be used to complete the National Governing Body club mark, through County Sports Partnership or Ofsted.

It is a minimum standard any organisation working with children or vulnerable adults, would be expected to have in Bolton.

Communities & Partnerships Activator, Jennie Swarbrick commented “We are proud to expand our services and put ourselves in an extremely strong position, to be able to support and develop children in and around the Bolton Area. We pride ourselves on high standards of delivery, and the Bolton Mark has helped us to shape our primary school programme so, that we meet the necessary requirements, to be able to deliver safe and fun sessions.”

The new programme also falls alongside one of main beliefs of the Arena, which is to promote a healthy and active lifestyle across the community.

For more information on the Bolton Mark or to find out more about our new primary school programme please contact jennieswarbrick@boltonarena.com

USN Bolton Arena Becomes Regional Player Development Centre

 

We are delighted to announce that USN Bolton Arena has been chosen as a regional player development centre by the LTA.

The regional player development centres will provide high level support to junior players with high potential aged between 10 – 14yrs.  The regional centres will also provide an exceptional standard of coaching and structured sessions geared towards the athletic development necessary to progress to a national academy.

Scott Lloyd, LTA Chief Executive, said: ” With an emphasis on creating a seamless player pathway for talent development, this new Performance Strategy marks a step-change in the LTA’s approach to developing a pipeline of future tennis champions. It’s fantastic to see the new player pathway start to become a reality with the confirmation of the National Academies, supported by our new Regional Player Development Centres.”

USN Bolton Arena, Head Of Sport, Stuart Kay added: “We are delighted to be part of the Lawn Tennis Association Regional Player Development Centre performance pathway. This is in recognition of all the hard work the coaching team have put in over the past 10 years. We have built up an excellent reputation in the northwest for providing a fantastic pathway for all players.”

It is down to the hard-work and dedication of our team that we have been presented with this exciting new challenge. This is also a huge leap forward regarding our long-term development.

To find out more, take a look at the article here.

For more information on our tennis programmes email stuartkay@boltonarena.com or click here.

 

 

Still Time To Enjoy Summer Of Sport

It’s been an amazing summer of sport so far!

After mixed fortunes for the home nations in the Euros, home pride was restored when Andy Murray claimed the Wimbledon men’s singles’ title. And then Chris Froome continued the party when he won the Tour de France in fabulous style!

Now, it’s the turn of the Rio Olympics and the chance to see modern legends like superstar runner Usain Bolt and Brit favourite, heptathlon champion Jessica Ennis-Hill among the many inspirational performances on offer.

And we’ve had our share of inspiring performances at the Arena in our Summer of Sport!

Martin Jones won our Tour De France gym challenge, covering a staggering 1424km, followed by Jackie Birks (1005km) and Julian Wood (828km). They all now get to enjoy some much needed retail therapy having won Trafford Centre shopping vouchers.

We are now into our Olympic Challenges, where we are challenging our members to combine their efforts to cover the 9.351km to Rio. As well as raising money for charity, members are in with a chance of winning a much sought-after Technogym Active Sitting Ball. If cardio isn’t your thing, why not try our many strength challenges, where there are also lots of spot prizes up for grabs.

And this weekend (Sunday 14th August), there’s a chance for you and your family to get involved in the Great British Tennis Weekend, where there will be a variety of FREE Tennis coaching and play sessions for all the family. To find out more and to register, go to http://clubspark.lta.org.uk/OpenDays/BoltonArena or call the Arena on 01204 488100.

So don’t just watch this amazing summer of sport on TV – Get involved!!

Meet The Staff: Stuart Kay

NAME:  Stuart Kay

AGE:  42

JOB:  Tennis Manager

BACKGROUND: My dad was in the Forces so I travelled around the world when I was young. I went to school in Germany and played all sports – badminton, football and where I first played tennis in my teens. I got a bit more interested in tennis and played for a German club but that was really my level, as a club player. My Mum was from Preston so when we came back to the UK, we lived in Preston.

PROFESSIONAL BACKGROUND: I started working in leisure centres – first as an attendant and eventually became assistant manager – and then I got a job at Southport Tennis Centre as Manager where I worked for 10 years. I realised that I wanted to teach tennis, especially to youngsters, and took my coaching Levels 1, 2 and 3 there. I came to Bolton Arena as Tennis Manager 12 years ago. A lot has changed in that time in tennis generally and here we have the High Performance Centre which attracts many players from outside the Bolton area  and further afield including Yorkshire and Cumbria. I’ve been involved in the development side of tennis, bringing large tournaments here and team tournaments like the under-14s – which is something I’ve been really proud of.

IS TENNIS MORE POPULAR AT THIS TIME OF YEAR? Wimbledon Fortnight always makes a difference and we get more people coming to play tennis at the Arena, which is great.

IS YOUR WORK JUST WITHIN THE ARENA? No. We have an outreach programme where we work with 25 different schools and we try to promote tennis across the borough. We’re also working with tennis clubs at Lostock and Eagley and putting on sessions in Moss Bank Park.

HOW DO YOU SEE THE FUTURE OF TENNIS LOCALLY? I think it needs to be available to more people by making it fun, through cardio and other sorts of enjoyable tennis sessions, to help everyone’s fitness and making sport more accessible.

WHY DO YOU LIKE WORKING AT THE ARENA? The staff and the facilities are great here. My job is never mundane, it’s always different, working with different people. I still really enjoy it.

HOW DO YOU KEEP FIT THESE DAYS? I don’t get on court enough to play tennis these days but I tend to go for a 30-minute run which I like.

 

 

Kids’ Holiday Camp Fun For All

NOT sure how to keep your children happy and active during the long school Summer holidays?

The USN Bolton Arena has a great solution with its popular Holiday Camp sessions. From Monday, July 25th to Friday, September 2nd, excluding weekends and Bank Holidays, we will be running active sessions from 8am to 6pm to delight all ages.

Our Ofsted-registered holiday camp offers a fun-packed day of sport and physical activity for youngsters aged five to 15 years. Activities include athletics, boxing, floorball, swimming football, waterplay, tournaments, arts and crafts, dodgeball, handball, rugby and much more.

Cost is £23 per day, or £20 with an arenaactive card or pay for five days at £90; childcare vouchers are also accepted.

There are limited places available – but the fun is unlimited! Just call 01204 488100 to book a place.

 

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