Tennis ace Taylor nets place in training squad

Taylor Aitcheson.
Taylor Aitcheson.

Tennis prodigy Taylor Aitcheson has been selected to attend leading performance squad training at Thongsbridge.

The seven year old from Dewsbury Moor has won a number of tournaments against older children and finished third at the recent Yorkshire Championships, held at the John Charles Centre of Sport in Leeds.

Members of the British Lawn Tennis Association talent team assessed Taylor before offering him a place on the squad.

He begins training with the Leading Performance Team this week and will travel to Thongsbridge each Thursday for coaching, which lasts between three and four hours per session.

He has had to get special permission from his school, St Joseph’s, to be taken out of lessons under the gifted and talented programme.

The Liversedge Tennis Club member is also on track to compete in Orange Ball tournaments, which usually only allow eight, nine and 10 years olds to enter.

Orange ball tennis is played with shorter rackets, softer balls and courts are bigger and wider than the beginner stage but still smaller than full-size tennis courts, allowing players to develop a rounded game while learning a range of techniques and tactics.

Proud dad Tony Aitcheson said: “It is a fantastic achievement for his age, as he is still just seven and a half.

“He has had to get permission from school to attend the leading performance centre at Thongsbridge and Taylor will now concentrate on developing his game through orange ball tennis, which is usually for older children.”

Taylor will now receive expert tuition from the leading performance scheme at Thongsbridge, while also receiving coaching from his time spent at Batley Sports and Tennis Centre and with the Liversedge club.