13.8 C
Byron Shire
September 27, 2021

Louis reaches for tennis stars

Latest News

Pre-Accelerator program on offer

Those seeking to start a business, or with an early-stage business are encouraged to apply for one of four subsidised program places through the Sourdough Business Pathways Pre-Accelerator Program.

Other News

COVID-19 update NSW, September 22

As Byron Bay and Tweed Shire enter on their first day of a snap lockdown, NSW recorded from 8 pm last night 1035 announced Premier Berejiklian.

Tony’s reflections as king of the Macadamia Castle

Looking back on 14 years at the Macadamia Castle, Tony Gilding says the important things to him were the conservation of the animals and the development of staff.

Mighty energetic greens

  Avi Karny wasn’t always an organic farmer. He began his professional life as a scientist, completing a Masters in...

ScoMo does it again

ScoMo recently travelled from the ACT to Sydney, not something to be recommended at the moment. What is an essential...

Biggest corporate greenwashers revealed by Greenpeace

According to a new analysis by Greenpeace, most of Australia’s highest-emitting companies that have implemented net-zero emission commitments do not have any will to meet their target.

A new COVID-19 case flies into the Far North Coast

The Northern NSW Local Health District has confirmed that there is a new case of COVID-19 in Northern NSW today, and they will be included in NSW Health’s official reporting tomorrow.


Coach Stephen Gort watches closely to check the technique of young Louis

Story & photos Eve Jeffery

At just 14 years of age, Louis Clark has already been playing tennis for eight years and competing for more than a third of his life.

A bit of a lone ranger, Louis spends his time at several clubs and benefits from the experience of more than one coach and a few training buddies.

Louis recently won the Northern NSW Junior 14s Champion of Champions Tennis Tournament held in Inverell. This event includes children from the Queensland border, down to Port Macquarie and west to Gunnedah. This has led to his selection for the NSW State Titles in Sydney.

Because of his win, Louis has also been invited to attend the John Newcombe Tennis Ranch in America for a six-week scholarship. Louis will travel to the US early next year – this is a wonderful opportunity as these offers are usually more readily available to metropolitan children.

Trained by coaches Ryan Kebblewhite of Pottsville and Mullumbimby-based tour player Stephen Gort, Louis spends about four hours a week training. He also plays cricket, soccer and golf but tennis is his first love.

Louis also has clear ideas about his future. ‘I hope to go to college in America,’ he says. ‘I’d like to try to get into the pro circuit.’

In the long term Louis wants to get Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) points for a world ranking and then he would like to climb that ladder all the way to the top. ‘I’d like to make it to the top 100 in the world,’ he says. ‘World number one would be good.’

Louis plays on the Junior Tour which is ranked; he currently sits at 14th in NSW in his age group and in the top 60 in Australia.

It’s a challenge for a Suffolk Park lad to get among the big guns when much of the action happens in the city – Louis’s mum Lisa gets to rack up a lot of miles, but coach Steven Gort thinks it could be worth it.

Gort coaches that lad at the Riverside courts in Mullumbimby and sees a lot of potential in Louis.

‘His form is pretty good,’ says Stephen, himself a ranked player. ‘He has shown big improvements, especially in the last few weeks. I’ve been working him pretty hard and it’s starting to pay off.’

Gort says that college tennis is a definite possibility for Louis, whom he says shows great technique. ‘Plenty of Australian players are doing it because you get a degree, you get good tennis and there is a lot of opportunity over there. He’s got four years to get to that stage; he has plenty of time.’

Stephen can see that Louis has the potential to go all the way. He says that he doesn’t see many 14-year-olds with Louis’s ability. ‘He’s got plenty of talent, so it’s just a matter of putting in the hard work. He makes it look easy. There are plenty of players out there that might work hard and are determined but if they don’t have the talent… He’s got a lot of potential.

‘He’s got all the shots. Lots of shots I wish I had at his age. He has good technique that doesn’t break under pressure.’



Previous articleWhat Maisie Knew
Next articleCop culture to blame

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

New venues of concern in Ballina

The Northern NSW Local Health District has been notified of a number of new venues of concern associated with a confirmed case of COVID-19.

Byron Bay beach party end in PINS and a charge for biting

Police say a woman has been charged and four Penalty Infringement Notices (PINs) issued following a beach party in the Byron Bay area overnight.

Fundraising for koala signs for Bangalow

As the koala mating season has started, Bangalow Koalas has set up fundraising to create incorporate more koala road signs. Bangalow Koalas, who keep a watch...

Nuclear Submarines – just a foot in the door

In the next few months we will hear a lot about how superior nuclear-powered submarines are. Vice Admiral Mike Noonan is even claiming superior stealth characteristics – which is simply not true. Yes, they tend to be faster. This is great if you want to go thousands of kilometres in a matter of days. But they are also much more expensive.