Jasper’s StoryIt was Easter 2013 when my son, Jasper, came home with information from EBAT in his book bag. When I read that he had been invited to join the tennis Academy I burst out laughing! As much as I adore all racket sports, it had never occurred to me that there would be the facilities and coaching for Jasper to learn at 5 years old. Besides, we live in Ipswich – home of football, (and I had been trying for quite some time to get Jasper interested in football, but he really wasn’t having any of it).
I was so excited for him to grab this wonderful opportunity, and we were one of the privileged families to have got to know Bally in that last, tragic year of her life. 2013 was a great year for us at EBAT, despite what was to come in 2014.
Jasper had quite low self-esteem when he started at EBAT, and was really struggling to make a firm friendship group at school. As a result he had an energy that he couldn’t seem to harness, and poor concentration skills, at times. Nino & Bally set the bar high in their expectations, and aspirations for the EBAT kids. They trained them hard, but always with a sense that each child can achieve great things if they set their mind & bodies to it, and are prepared to work for it. They didn’t just teach Jasper tennis, they gave him a strength in attitude which will always serve him well in life.
Jasper is a changed lad, thanks to the EBAT family. He has made such wonderful friends at the Academy. He has been able to harness the importance of focus and discipline, and his confidence and feeling of self-worth and pride has soared under the guidance of Jamie Friend and all of the wonderful coaches.
There aren’t many hours in a week when Jasper isn’t thinking about tennis. He is never happier than when on a court – whether training or competing, and he knows that if he does lose it is just another opportunity to learn from it and get better.