Phoebe aims to step up again in 2016

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Halifax’s Phoebe Suthers enjoyed the best season of her life this year and now the deaf tennis star insists she is aiming even higher in 2016.

The Brooksbank School pupil is only 12 but has already proven she is one of the rising stars of deaf tennis and earlier this month was a prize winner at the Courier Sports Awards at The Venue, Barkisland.

At the inaugural World Deaf Tennis Championships in July she won bronze in the junior event and reached the last 16 of the seniors.

And the Huddersfield LT&SC member is hoping the training to improve her forehand will help her achieve even more success in 2016.

She said: “I would say 2015 was my best year so far because I won bronze in the juniors at the World Deaf Championships and I came in the top 16 of the adult competition.

“I also entered a few grade three tournaments and came in the top three in most of the tournaments, so it has been a good year.

“Next year I hope to get gold in the Junior World Deaf Championships and I want to keep wining tournaments and improve my tennis.

“I have a tournament in Slovenia coming up and then I have a number of other competitions in January, February and March.

“I am currently working on trying to improve my forehand because sometimes it goes a bit dodgy so I need to smoothen up on my forehand, whereas my backhand is really smooth, so I want to get my forehand up to that level.”

Suthers was speaking at the Jaguar Land Rover Academy of Sport workshop at Land Rover Ben Ainslie Racing in Portsmouth.

More than 20 of the country’s brightest athletes attended on Tuesday, when they were offered education sessions on issues such as nutrition and interview techniques, and given mentoring by former Olympic cyclist Bryan Steel and ex-England rugby union player David Flatman.

Suthers added: “The workshop was great and it really helped push me on when it comes to my sport.

“It was great to speak to the mentors because it pushes me even more to get to the level I want to.

“The academy has helped me a lot because of the grant and also the academy has given me a lot of advice.

“I am going to now take that advice into my sport to get even better.”

Phoebe Suthers attended the Jaguar Land Rover Academy of Sport workshop, mentored by Land Rover Ambassador David Flatman and Sportsaid Patron Bryan Steel. For more information visit sportsaid.org.uk.