Tennis: Young stars aid Falkirk club’s return to the top tier

A group of talented teenagers have played an important role in helping Falkirk Lawn Tennis Club gain promotion to the first division for the first time in ten years.

The summer season in central Scotland saw the club win the ladies doubles second division with the aid of young stars Lauren Hill, Olivia Smart, Jessica Bell and Emma Samson.

All four played in most of the matches as they pipped Dollar to the title by a single point.

They have also helped the club win the mixed under-16s league by a single point.

(Photos: Michael Gillen)

Speaking to the Herald, ladies captain at the club Paula Goldie said of their achievements: “It is over ten years since we have been in division one and we wouldn’t have gotten there without the girls’ help.

"They are all keen tennis players and they want to get other girls involved in the sport.

“Not only do they play but they give up their free time to help coach other young players which just shows how committed and kind they all are.

"Every Saturday, they help out with the junior squads and even at other clubs in the local area they have volunteered."

Olivia Smart, 17, played in all of the club's home matches and went unbeaten

Goldie also hopes the success of the girls will encourage other people to try out the sport.

The club hosts a social tennis night every Tuesday during the off-season.

"Us older ones have been stuck playing on our own for years,” she said. “Now we have these girls who have burst onto the scene and have taken the pressure off.

"They all enjoy playing and I would love to see more girls get involved.

Emma Samson, 14, was the third highest scorer in the division

"Tennis in Scotland is already disregarded a little, but when it comes to women’s tennis we are even further behind.

"This season we managed to field a second team in the third division which is progress, but it is hit or miss.

"We have a ladies night every Tuesday evening at the club and we sometimes get only five or six people along.

"The girls have shown that the local area really has some talented players. They just need to be found.”

Lauren Hill, 16, looks to get a clean connection on her return shot

If you are interested in finding out more about the club, or want to join you can contact Falkirk Lawn Tennis Club on social media or via the club’s website.