James marked as one for the future through programme

James Parkin.
James Parkin.

JUNIOR tennis player James Parkin from North Shields was put through his paces after taking part in the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) national Talent ID Finals at Nottingham Tennis Centre.

The ten-year-old, who is on the LTA’s AEGON FutureStars programme, was one of 100 youngsters invited to the session after successfully progressing through county and regional talent days to make the final week.

Parkin showed off his skills in front of the LTA team who were aiming to spot future performance players, who even at such an early age were displaying the right attributes that could enable them to make a real impact on the game.

The Preston Grange Primary School pupil said: “I really enjoy the talent ID days, it’s always really good fun, we have to work hard but it’s worth it.

“It’s great having the chance to meet other players from around the country and learn new skills and challenges.”

The day was overseen by LTA head of talent management Andrew Lewandowski, who was impressed by what he saw.

He said: “James has performed really well and shown lots of ability across a number of different tasks testing qualities including athletic ability, coordination, speed and agility and a real natural talent and love for the sport.

“It was fantastic to see so many enthusiastic and talented players give it their all at the Talent ID Finals which is central to our vision for British Tennis.

“With the level of LTA support available for junior players and the Talent ID network that simply didn’t exist five years ago, there has never been a better time for the LTA to identify and help develop talented players.”

Funding is offered to players selected from the national Talent ID weeks and the LTA continue to monitor those players competitive level in an on-going process.

Players attending the national Talent ID days may also be asked to attend national camps at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton depending upon progress development and performance in competition throughout the year.

Those players not selected continue to receive visits from their talent performance manager who continue to monitor their progress.