William could be on his way to Wimbledon

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YOUNG Bury tennis player William Cooke-Wharton could be gracing the courts of Wimbledon after he was highlighted as a potential talent by the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) AEGON FutureStars programme, writes Nathan Beales.

The 12-year-old, from Bury St Edmunds, will be part of a group of 477 top junior tennis players across the country, an increase of just over a hundred youths from the previous year, who will benefit from the support and funding from the LTA.

Cooke-Wharton trains at the Hills Road HPC in Cambridge. He attracted the attention of the LTA with a successful year on the court.

The AEGON FutureStars programme bases its youth player intake on player’s talent ID assessment for players at the age of ten and under, and rankings for all other age groups.

AEGON is also the lead partner of British tennis and supports the game at a grassroots level, implementing programmes such as AEGON Schools Tennis and AEGON Parks Tennis.

Leon Smith, the LTA Head of Men’s and Women’s Tennis said:

“We are committed to supporting and identifying our most talented players, and the AEGON FutureStars programme is central to this process for young players who are starting out in the game.

“There’s obviously a long way to go for these players. It’s a long journey for any player hoping to make an impact on the game but we hope that with the right support, these players are given the best possible chance of reaching their full potential.”

Ian Murray, Head of Sponsorship at AEGON, added: “We’re delighted to continue supporting the LTA with the development of the most talented tennis players in the country.

“The support provided to the players through Team AEGON and AEGON FutureStars programmes is vital to their individual development and we’re proud to be investing in the future of British Tennis through these initiatives.”