Sixth former Lea Van der Zwalmen is celebrating after becoming the first ever Ladies Rackets World Champion.
Lea beat the top seeded Claire Fahey (also Real Tennis World Champion) in a fabulous, exciting and high standard match which lasted one and a half hours. Full report of the world challenge is here: http://www.tennisandrackets.com/NewsItem.aspx?id=1338
Lea said: “I am very proud that I succeeded in overcoming the pressure and playing the best Rackets of my life. I served well and succeeded in staying determined all the way through, which enabled me to play accurate winning shots.
“This world title concludes a successful Rackets season for me with three victories at major tournaments. I wouldn't have reached this level without the support of Clifton College and in particular Reggie Williams, Sam Beale, Rebecca Wimshurst, Doctor Waller and my sparring partners (Henri Mullan, Dan Lewis, OC Adam Kula and James Johnson).
Rackets is a fast-paced exciting sport, played by 14 Public Schools: Clifton, Charterhouse, Cheltenham, Eton, Haileybury, Harrow, Malvern, Marlborough, Radley, Rugby, St.Paul’s, Tonbridge, Wellington and Winchester.
Lea’s triumph is especially impressive, given that she only took up the sport last year. She had already achieved great success in the sport of squash, representing France in squash at the U19 Individual and Team European Championship in Helsinki.
As well as being a terrific sportswoman, Lea is also a dedicated student and is studying Mathematics, German and Economics A Levels. Her aim is to study Economics at Bath University and also to continue to play squash and rackets.