Caleb Ralston is a young man with a great future ahead of him and his talents have been recognised as he has just been offered a place at the prestigious Lawn Tennis Association’s High Performance Centre, TeamBathMCTA, which is based at the University of Bath.
Caleb, a 15 year-old pupil at Portadown College, started playing tennis at the tender age of 9 at Lurgan tennis Club and before long his potential was noted and he was invited to join Ulster Tennis junior performance squads. He now plays for Portadown Tennis Club men’s team in Division 1 Belfast and District Singles League.
Following a training visit to Bristol last year, Caleb received a letter confirming his selection to the High Performance Centre from Director of Tennis, Barry Scollo.
Caleb’s dad David explained: “Since Caleb received his offer we’ve returned to Team Bath for further training visits and also made arrangements for Caleb to attend the Ralph Allen School in Bath to study A levels. He will stay with a local host family and all this will start in September 2016.
“TeamBathMCTA and the school run a programme that will enable Caleb to train full-time (20 hours a week) and study A-levels at the same time. It is a hugely demanding programme and a real challenge to move away from home but it’s something he’s fully committed to.”
Caleb finished last season as number 1 ranked U16 junior in Ulster - with wins in major Ulster tournaments including the Ulster Junior Open at Belfast Boat Club, Ulster Junior Hardcourt at Windsor Tennis Club, Ulster Matchplays and Ulster Junior Masters events, as well as consistently high placed finishes in Irish national tournaments.
Caleb is currently ranked number 2 U16 in Irish National junior ranking and with the best coaches in the country at the High performance Centre to develop his talents further, there’s no doubt we will hear a lot more of this young tennis star in the not too distant future.