PADEL TENNIS: A WHITNASH teenager is making a name for herself on the padel court.
Tia Norton recently appeared at the Junior World Padel Tennis Championships in Malaga, Spain.
The 14-year-old remarkably reached the quarter final stage of the Under 16s World Championships, and she already has one eye on the professional game.
Norton defeated Portugal, Brazil, Belgium, and the USA before losing out to world champions, Spain, in the quarter finals of the Open competition.
Her success on court has led to Tia becoming an Adidas sponsored player, and she’s currently the top seeded female padel tennis player in the UK.
Speaking to The Observer, Norton said playing the game professionally is her ultimate aim.
She said: “I would like to be able to play on the World Padel Tour, which is similar to the WTP in tennis.
“I’m focusing a lot on my training at the moment to help me achieve that.
“The world championships went well, I won five of my eight matches.
“The experience was amazing and I’ve since been invited to Spain to train with the best juniors in the world.”
There’s little time for the teenager to rest though.
Next month, Tia will jet off to Portugal to represent Team GB in the European Championships.
She’s also just returned from France after competing in an international doubles competition with her former coach Kristina Clement, and she travels to London and back twice each week to train with a top UK coach.
All of the travelling has its costs, and Tia’s family are hoping to find some sponsors to fund her padel tennis journey.
She said: “I’ve competed in Mexico, Holland, Marbella, Lyon, Barcelona, Madrid, and Brisbane.
“It’s all an incredible experience but I’m hoping to welcome some friendly sponsors on board.
“I am dedicated to the sport and study outside of school hours when I’m not competing.
“Hopefully all the hard work will pay off.”
To support Tia’s padel career, visit www.crowdfunder.co.uk and search Tia Norton.