22/02/17: Smashing news for young Dereham tennis player

Ruby Syer, a promising young tennis player from Dereham, has been awarded a £500 Gifted and Talented grant by Breckland Council, to help cover the costs associated with her sport.

At only 10 years old, Ruby has already competed in two national contests.

Ruby's father, Mark Syer, explained where it all began: "When she was only five, Ruby went on a school trip to the Easton Tennis Centre. They spotted her ability and she was selected to take part in a talent programme to help develop her game and technique. Ruby lives and breathes tennis - she just loves learning about the game and her ambition is to become a professional player. She's naturally competitive and, whether its training or competitions, she always strives to be the best at whatever she takes on."

Ruby takes part in regional training camps and her weekly schedule includes squad and individual tennis sessions, tournament participation, and strength and conditioning work. The grant from Breckland will contribute towards the cost of private lessons, fitness coaching, training camps and tournament participation.

Phillip Duigan, Breckland Council ward member for Dereham Toftwood said: "Britain is producing some exceptional players who are making their mark on the world stage, but it's crucial for our future success in the sport that we support and develop the talent of the next generation. The training and travelling costs associated with competing at such a high level can be quite a burden on family finances, so we were pleased to support this grant application and help Ruby achieve her ambitions."

Breckland Council offers a range of grant schemes that support both individuals and community projects. For more information, contact the Norfolk Community Foundation on Tel. 01603 623958, or email grants@norfolkfoundation.com.