Westway initiative helps to develop East Acton’s tennis twins

Many believe twins share the same hobbies, interests and passions. Monique and Pierre Gundrum from East Acton are definitely testament to this, as they both share a love and talent for tennis, making them the perfect doubles team!

The twins started playing tennis at Westway Sports Centre five years ago when they were just five years old by attending the ‘Pay & Play’ sessions twice a week to give themselves a taste for the sport.

They soon favoured tennis over other activities and in no time, Oren Holtzman, tennis developmental and performance manager at Westway Sports Centre, spotted their talent.

“Both Monique and Pierre’s talent for the game was apparent early on.” Oren explained.

“They demonstrated natural ability at such a young age and it was exciting to see how quickly they picked up new skills in the sessions.”

“Wanting to encourage and develop their skills, I suggested that they be given an opportunity to progress their tennis further with the help we could offer at the centre and through the schemes we provide to support talent.”

As a result, Pierre and Monique became a part of the WIN@Westway Tennis Programme, providing them with the fundamental skills for the game and were awarded the Westway Performance Bursary.

The bursary is given to young people who have shown sporting promise, and allowed the twins to increase their tennis participation at Westway from twice a week to three sessions a week, both individual and squad sessions.

Five years on and both Pierre and Monique are attending regular squad and individual sessions to develop their skills, as well as strength and conditioning classes to improve their overall fitness.

The WIN@Westway Tennis programme is allowing the twins to play a sport they love without facing any barriers.

Oren added: “Pierre and Monique are a credit to the tennis programme. They have come such a long way since we first spotted them.

“It’s fantastic to see them developing their skills and through the bursary funding, free coaching and equipment, they have the opportunity to be the best tennis players that they can be.

Due to the fact all their money comes from bursary funding, they need to ensure they spend it on equipment that they know will last a long time.

For example, when they needed a new ball machine to improve their practice sessions, they did lots of research to find the best option with their budget in mind. You can View this guide form RealifeTennis to see how they did this.

If they don’t look into guides like this then they will have to keep buying new equipment as the stuff they buy will be low quality. They need the equipment to help continue to train the future tennis stars.

“We are really proud of them both and can’t wait to see what they achieve in the future.”

Monique [pictured above] is currently a Regional Talent ID player and has won seven Under-nine grade three tournaments, having also represented Middlesex in the Under-nine County Cup, which they won.

Pierre has improved greatly over the years, having reached the semi-finals of three grade-three tournaments and recently won his first Under-10’s tournament.

The Westway Bursary Scheme is funded by events at the Westway Sports Centre and the Portobello Green Fitness Club. The aim is to support young people in the local community who want to regularly take part in sports and fitness activities.

For more information about Westway Sports Centre, the Westway Development Trust or the Bursary Scheme visit www.westwaysportscentre.org.uk or call 020 8969 0992



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