Toby Bloomfield, a Steyning Grammar School student in Year 8, is currently ranked ‘Tennis Number 1’ in Sussex in the Under 14 age group. This is a noteworthy achievement since this age group covers boys a year older than he is. He has received County Colours for the last 4 years, and will be awarded them again this year, following his recent performance leading Sussex at the National County Cup.
Toby trains at the Pavilion & Avenue Tennis Club, both with his coach, Ben Reeves, and in the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) performance squads there. He also attends regional tennis training camps at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton. He has been lucky enough to train alongside the Davis Cup team there and, last time, alongside Johanna Konta and Heather Watson.
Toby is having an outstanding season so far. He won a Regional Level LTA tournament in Tunbridge Wells at Easter, in both U14s singles and doubles. At half-term, he competed in a Regional Level LTA tournament at Seaford, where he not only won the U14s boys singles, but also the U16s boys singles (this age group comprises boys at least 3 years older than him), bringing accolades from the LTA coaches.
Toby’s next big tournament will be the Nationals which take place in Bath, in July, which he admits will be a challenge. He remarks: "I know it will be tough at the Nationals playing boys at least a year older than me, but I'm hoping for a good draw, and I'm definitely up for it!"
Headteacher Mr Nick Wergan said: “Toby is a superb ambassador for our school, and we wish him every success in the Nationals. He is certainly a talent to watch out for in the future.”
Toby has great ambitions to continue training at a top level. He said: “In the future, I'd like to go to University in America to play tennis."
Mr Luke Talbot, Head of Physical Education at Steyning Grammar School said: “As a school we are incredibly proud of Toby and his achievements. To be able to balance his academic and sporting demands takes a lot of organisation and self-control. We are also impressed with how he has demonstrated grit and a growth mindset to succeed and act as a role model to others.”