British Players lose Funding over Bebo Incident

I’m sure you have all been warned about the dangers of social networks such as facebook, in that employers now use it as a method of selection. But now it seems even our sporting stars are not safe. Two of Britain’s top junior tennis players, David Rice and Naomi Broady, had their funding from the LTA withdrawn after they were seen publicising a lifestyle of partying, drinking and eating junk food on Bebo. LTA chief Roger Draper commented, “The people they’ve let down most is themselves. What disappoints me more than anything else is while these people are saying they want to be professional tennis players and want all the trappings that come with that, they aren’t behaving in that way.” To me, the LTA are flexing their muscles by trying to demonstrate that they mean business and are not to be messed with. I have no problem with the disciplining of these juniors as long as the same standards are applied consistently and this is not a token gesture for public consumption. It doesn’t matter how much talent you have, in the competitive environment that exists today there has to be 100% commitment to get to the top. If you apply the football analogy Sir Alex at Man U is ruthless when people step out of line and you can’t argue with his record. What is called for is a nurturing process but in a highly disciplined environment ie come down hard on those who take liberties but be on hand to offer encouragement and motivation for those who are dedicated. The players should be made to feel special but know the parameters in which they have to operate.

Gemma Casey


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