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Family of Rising Star Josh Make Cash Plea

TENNIS by Jackie Thorley

GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: Basford teenager Josh Eardley has been offered a tennis scholarship at Sutton Tennis Academy in Surrey, but needs to find funding.

THE family of North Staffs rising star Josh Eardley is making a plea for cash to help fund the teenager through a London tennis academy. The 15-year-old is ranked around 100 at under-16 and dreams of turning professional. The Basford player has impressed coaches at the Surrey-based Sutton Tennis Academy, where he has been offered a one-year scholarship deal in partnership with Cheam High School. However, the programme will only be part-funded and it is up to his parents to find the shortfall by September. Josh's mum, Sheila, who is overcoming a major illness, has raised thousands of pounds for charity in recent years, but is now turning her hand to raising cash to help develop her son's career. The Sir Stanley Matthews Foundation has stepped in with a £500 donation and there have been further contributions from Basford Tennis Club and a family friend. "We have to find £4,000, but that is just the beginning," she said. "In addition to that, the main expense will be for him to live with a host family near to the Academy and there will be hidden costs, such as health insurance and footwear. "We are obviously very grateful to the Sir Stanley Matthews Foundation and the club. There are no guarantees Josh will make it, but we want to give him the best chance, while also safeguarding his education. "He has spent a week at the Academy to see what it is like and the coaches were very impressed and said if he works hard he could go far." Anyone interested in backing Josh can contact the family on (01782) 634763.

Sentinel, 05 August 2008
Courtesy of The Sentinel News & Media

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