Alicia, from Hove, is a talented tennis player who has represented her region competitively on many occasions and has lots of fantastic wins to her name. She was given an Edward Starr Award in December 2013 and the Trust is delighted to continue to support her.We awarded Alicia £2,600 in June 2015 to cover her additional individual coaching and her fitness coaching.
I wanted to once again say thank you to everyone at the Starr Trust for continuing to support Alicia and more importantly, continuing to believe in her - I can’t really express how grateful we all are!
Alicia restarted her on-court training again at the end of March 2021 after lockdown restrictions lifted and has worked incredibly hard balancing her A Level courses and her tennis. When A Levels finished she started competing in the grass court season and has had some fantastic successes. She won the 18U Junior National Doubles Title in June and in July she competed at the pre Wimbledon Junior International in Roehampton where she reached round 3, losing to the eventual finalist. She was then awarded a wild card to Junior Wimbledon where she was the only British girl to reach the quarter final, losing to the World No. 1 in 3 sets. This was an amazing end to her junior tennis career, which she finishes ranked around 168 in the world (after just 2 tournaments), and she now moves to the University of Florida to continue and progress her tennis.
Alicia has just signed with the Florida Gators! She has secured a full tennis scholarship which covers all her tuition fees, accommodation, board and books as well as all her tennis training. The University of Florida is not only one of the best sports universities in America, but is also a strong academic university so she is very excited to be joining the team and to become a Florida Gator! Alicia's parents say: "We can’t thank you enough for all your support over the years as it has enabled Alicia to continue her tennis training and given her so much confidence in herself. The Starr Trust has given Alicia opportunities that she may not otherwise have had and I’m so pleased that Alicia has taken those opportunities - she has worked so hard both on the tennis court and in school and we are so proud of what she has achieved, she thoroughly deserves it."
Alicia won a final award of £2600 to go towards her tennis training before she goes to university. Alicia’s mum says: “We are absolutely delighted that the Starr Trust has continued to support Alicia on her tennis journey. Thank you so much - your help really has made a huge difference to us.”
We have awarded Alicia to cover the costs of training for a further year. Alicia’s mum says: “As always, your continued support over the last few years has been invaluable and being part of the Starr Trust family has been a very humbling experience. We are extremely grateful to you for giving Alicia the opportunity.”
Alicia has not only been nominated for Sussex Young Sports Personality of the Year 2018, but she has now been chosen as one of the 3 shortlisted finalists! This is an amazing achievement and Alicia will now attend the Awards Ceremony at the Grand Hotel on 23rd November where the winner will be announced. Click here for more info on the awards - we are absolutely thrilled for Alicia! She should be really proud of herself as this is an incredible achievement.
We are delighted to share that Alicia won her first Junior ITF title in Belfast last week - clinching both the singles and doubles title which was a fantastic achievement. Her mother Nicki told us “We are so thankful for all the support you give us - without your help we could not have got this far and hopefully there is still much further still to go!”
Alicia made an appearance with her mum on BBC Radio Sussex this afternoon with the presenter Allison Ferns. She told Allison how the support and funds she’s received from the Starr Trust has made it possible for her to get to the top of her game. Have a listen to what she had to say here:
Alicia’s mum gave her feedback on how the Starr Trust has helped them: Has the award had any impact with the Champion’s education?Although there has been no direct impact on Alicia’s education it has definitely had an indirect benefit. By having the opportunity to continue training Alicia is happier, focused and disciplined - this means that she is happier and works hard at school in order to have time to train.Has the award had any impact on the Champion’s family?It has enabled us to continue to support Alicia’s sport and her dream of becoming a professional tennis player. To see her happy and motivated has had a really positive impact on our family.Are you happy with your relationship with the Starr Trust?Yes - everyone at the Starr Trust has always been very kind and helpful and we have always felt fully supported.Do you have any suggestions on how we might support our Champions better?I think you are doing a good job already and Alicia certainly feels supported.
We are funding Alicia to support her ongoing tennis training.
Alicia picked up a number of awards at the LTA Tennis Sussex Awards. Alicia won the Tennis Sussex Junior Outstanding Achievement Award in recognition of her all hard work and success over the last year. She also won the Pat MacNamara Award for her role in the 18U Girls County Cup - this award is voted for by the players and recognises overall contribution to the team both in team spirit and effort as well as tennis. Alicia also collected a FairPlay award and her County Colours for representing Sussex in the 14U & 18U County Cups. Congratulations Alicia!
Alicia has been extremely busy over the past few months. She spent a couple of weeks in Nottingham, firstly competing in a Tennis Europe event where she lost in the quarter finals to a Polish girl. The second week she played her first Junior ITF tournament - these are 18U age group so it’s a big step up and also gives her the opportunity to get a world ranking! She did really well and won her qualifying rounds to get into the main draw which is a great achievement, unfortunately she lost first round of the main draw to the eventual winner (who was ranked around 340 in the world) - but this has given her a great benchmark to aim for. Shortly after her return she was selected to represent Sussex in the 14U Girls County Cup team - they travelled to Carlisle over the Bank Holiday weekend and won their group. This weekend the Sussex Team is back in Nottingham playing in the National County Cup Finals - we’ve all got our fingers crossed for them! Alicia has been invited back to the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton for a 4 day National Training Camp - an extremely tough few days but a great experience to live and train alongside many of the professional players. Alicia will also be interviewed at Brighton’s Big Screen this summer.
In February half term Alicia headed to the 16U National Tennis Event where she won her way through two qualifying matches into the main draw. Her performance earned her a place back at Roehampton in March, this time for the 16U National Winter Tour Finals. A few days later she travelled to Southampton to play for Sussex in the 18U Girls County Cup event. At 13, she was the youngest member of the team and won all her singles and doubles matches which was a great achievement. Overall Sussex won their group, beating Derbyshire, Dorset and Norfolk so they have now gained promotion to the higher division next year which is a great result. Alicia still has 4 more years where she’s eligible to play for the team so hopefully they can build on their success next year. Immediately after her County Cup, she left for Sutton to play in her first Ladies Open Aegon British Tour Event. She played some fantastic tennis and won both her qualifying matches to earn a place in main draw. This is an amazing achievement. Although she lost her main draw match she competed well which gave her plenty of confidence to compete at a higher level. Finally earlier this month Alicia was back in Roehampton in the 16U Winter National Tour Finals where she played some great tennis and reached the quarter finals. She then lost but to a much older and more experienced girl. Her mum told us “We are very proud of all her hard work and her current ranking is an incredible 17th in Great Britain within the 14U Girls age group which is a great achievement”. Well done Alicia!!
Alicia went to Bolton on January 12th to compete in the Nike International Junior Tournament which is a really prestigious junior event. We were delighted to learn that she did really well. She won her two qualifying matches convincingly and then had a great win against a French girl in the main draw. Her winning streak was halted by a girl from the USA who was touring as part of the US National Team - however Alicia played a really strong game against her and showed everyone that she is capable of competing at that level. The tournament was a truly international affair and Björn Borg was in attendance to watch his son Leo, who is the same age as Alicia and was also competing in the tournament. As you can see Borg was kind enough to pose in a photo with Alicia. In a few weeks Alicia will be competing in the 14U National Tour Finals, which is the end of season event against other top girls from the UK. Life is very busy and exciting for Alicia at the moment and we couldn’t be happier for her.
Alicia travelled to Sunderland at the start of half term this October to play in the Girls 16U National Winter Tour where she won her way through qualifying and the first round of the main draw. She unfortunately lost in the second round to a much older player in spite of playing some incredible tennis. Later that week she travelled to Bath for 4 days for the Girls 14U National Winter Tour, once again playing some fantastic tennis and reaching the Semi Finals, picking up some great wins on the way. As a result Alicia is now ranked 23rd in Great Britain for 14U girls and she still has a further 18 months in this age group. On November 11th she is travelling to Liverpool and taking part in a Tennis Europe Event. Well done Alicia!
Alicia reached the final of the Under 14s Nationals at Bath last week. It was her first national final, so a real milestone. Huge congratulations Alicia. Fantastic achievement!
Alicia has continued training really hard and this hard work is now starting to pay off. She has attended National tournaments in Edinburgh, Bath and Bournemouth this summer but without doubt the highlight of the summer was playing on the grass courts at Wimbledon in the HSBC Road to Wimbledon Finals. HSBC Road to Wimbledon is a 14U national competition whereby one winner from each county is invited to attend the finals at the All England Club in Wimbledon for a week in August. Alicia won the Sussex finals in July so in August she headed to Wimbledon for a week of tennis (and rain of course!). It was a fantastic experience and the players were really treated well - free tours and access to the club, players’ pass with daily lunch allowance, access to players’ dressing rooms and best of all, Alicia also got to play on championship court 18 (the 4th biggest show court), an experience which she will treasure for many many years. Alicia did really well over the week, reaching the finals of the Girls County singles which unfortunately she lost - she also reached the semi finals of doubles (which they lost on a nail-biting tiebreak). Alicia received her amazing runners-up trophy from Tim Henman (pictured). Following Wimbledon it was straight to Bournemouth for the British Nike National Junior 12U Championships; only 32 girls are accepted to play in this very high profile tournament so it was a huge honour just to play. Alicia won her first match and made it to the last 16 where unfortunately she met the number 2 seed and eventual finalist, but she put up a brave fight. Last week Alicia has played in the Sussex County championships where she was runner up in both 12U and 14U girls. Alicia has achieved so much, however the most important thing is that she’s loving her tennis at the moment; she’s having to make sacrifices and difficult choices but whatever the future holds she’s really enjoying the journey!
Alicia has been playing some excellent tennis recently - she went to a couple of National level tournaments over Easter (one in Nottingham and one in Sutton) where she played really well despite have very tough draws against the top seeds. She is currently ranked 52 nationally in the U12 girls and she still has another year in this age group so we are all very excited about her progress. She is attending another LTA Regional Training camp at Sutton tennis academy which is a fantastic opportunity for her to train with the other top girls in the region.