RISING star Eden Richardson has set her sights on following in Laura Robson’s footsteps after being taken under Judy Murray’s wing.
The Stanney Oaks 10-year-old is one of the top eight players in her age group in England and as such has been given one of eight places on the National Training Programme in Roehampton, run by British number one Andy Murray’s mum.
This winter she has already won the U11s Grand Prix, beating Rebecca Ley in straight sets at Welwyn Garden City.
Eden dreams of becoming a professional player, like 14-year-old Laura Robson who last week won her first senior title at a Women’s LTA event in Sunderland after bursting onto the scene at Wimbledon, and her hero is world number one Rafael Nadal.
The Capenhurst Primary School ace also has special dispensation from school to attend training at the Bolton Arena High Performance Tennis Centre and Wrexham High Performance Centre.
“She has a tough schedule and she misses out on a lot of things like parties and such but if you ask her if she would rather train or attend a party – and we always do – she always opts for training because she is so driven,” said mum Lesley.
Eden started playing the sport at a tots tennis session aged just three. At the fun activity sessions it was noticed how she had a natural eye for the ball and organisers suggested her parents take her for lessons.
“She started playing competitively aged five,” said Lesley. “She always wanted to win and hated losing and nothing has changed.
“If she loses everyone knows about it, but she is totally committed. She has this dream and she is chasing it, myself and her dad Mike are just doing what we can to help her along.”
Eden has just qualified for funding from the LTA, but is looking for sponsorship to help her compete at national level.
“Now she is competing nationally, it is becoming very expensive to keep going,” said Lesley.
“With hotels for Eden and myself or Mike, petrol, equipment, it all adds up.
“If someone could sponsor Eden then they could help her achieve her ultimate goal of becoming a professional.
“In the next couple of years she will be looking to move up to the brink of the senior game, as Laura Robson did, and who knows what will happen after that?”
If you would like to sponsor Eden, contact Lesley on 07883008516.