Tiana Fox and Kylie Bilchev, both 12, have started fundraising campaigns with crowdfunding platform Pledge Sports to raise £2000 and £1500 respectively in order to enable them to travel to Florida next month to compete in the Junior Orange Bowl in Miami.
Tennishead columnist Mats Merkel will be in Florida for the Junior Orange Bowl event – read his exclusive insight into his role as a tennis scout in the next issue of tennishead – on sale December 17
The Girls 12 and under event will take place at Tropical Park from December 13 -22 this year and both are hoping to be there to represent Great Britain. Both girls were selected to represent Great Britain in the Summer Cup in Corsica, where they finished 7th out of 32 countries.
Tiana, who is based in Brighton, trains four mornings and four evenings a week and at the weekends.
“Next to Wimbledon, this is the biggest tournament on the tennis calendar, 317 competitors have entered the tournament, but only 64 get selected, so if I get a place I really have to go as I will never get this opportunity again,” she said.
“I really believe that this level of sport should be accessible to everyone, not just the rich, and thanks to the generosity of so many this is true, so please if you can contribute no matter how small, it will make such a difference.”
Kylie, meanwhile, is based in Ipswich and trains in Culford and reached the final of the Open Super 12 Auray in France, and is hoping to go one better in Miami.
“I love playing tennis and most of all I love winning,” said Kylie. “My goal is to win Grand Slams and reach No.1 in the women’s tennis. This is a journey, and every step of every day matters.
“To get to the top I must compete with the top players. That’s why my goal in junior tennis is to play at the world’s top events for my age group.”