One of the academy's brightest young players, Jess Hart, has had a testing six months. An unusual wrist injury picked up in June has kept her out of competition for the past six months, but yesterday she finally made her return to action, at the Regional 10U Tour event in Sunderland.
Following the injury, Jess had an extended period out, but such is her passion and enthusiasm for the sport, she continued lessons with Coach Jordan Simpson, using her left hand, instead of her dominant right.
As the months passed, Jess continued to feel pain but gradually began to strengthen the wrist to the point where she could hit foam and orange balls with her right hand, and she even began taking part in green squads, hitting with her left hand - and impressing everyone on the way!
Finally, the pain all but subsided and Jess built up her strength in her right wrist again, and was able to resume her normal training schedule, albeit with a slightly easier training load.
Jess' attitude and commitment during her injury recovery impressed all of the academy coaches, Academy Manager Chris Sanderson said: 'Jess had a tough six months but her tenacity and dedication to keep training and recover showed how much she loves the sport. She is a credit to the academy and we will work hard to support her as she continues her return to competition'.
Jess herself was delighted to get back on the match court: 'I was nervous but excited to get back playing again, and to have a go after so long out. Tennis is really fun, I love it. Every time I play, I feel I'm having a great time. I love playing at the academy, its amazing. We have to work really hard but that is what I need to do'.
Jess will continue her recovery into 2017 and remains one of the most positive and hard-working students that any academy could wish for.