Ballarat’s Zoe Hives is one of five female tennis players to be awarded a Fed Cup Foundation scholarship.
Hives has made a successful return from an injury-riddled 2016 season, beginning 2017 with no ranking.
Plenty of hard work in the rehab room and on the court now sees her ranked inside the top 270 players in the world.
However, it can be a difficult lifestyle as an up and coming tennis player. The need to travel and the costs associated with it can take a toll. Hives took her game to the European circuit last season, but was unable to afford a coach to join her – making the trip solo.
Despite a promising 2017 campaign, she made a loss of close to $40,000 for the year – underlining the financial challenges of trying to make it on the world tennis stage.
The Fed Cup Foundation scholarship, operated in partnership with the Australian Sports Foundation, will be hugely helpful for the 21-year-old and provides support on her tennis journey.
Hives said she was extremely appreciative for the scholarship and told The Courier a lot of the money would go towards travel.
“It helps financially, there’s a lot of aspects to tennis, but I’d say it will mainly go to travel,” Hives said.
“Everything helps, tennis is a very expensive sport.”
The Australian Sports Foundation and Fed Cup Foundation continue to have a strong partnership and Fed Cup Foundation executive director Brigette McGuire understands the challenges that face young tennis stars and was pleased to be able to aid in the journey.
“Playing tennis at a world class level requires significant talent, commitment and funding. Our scholarship winners have an abundance of talent and commitment – our role is to provide financial support where we can to ensure that they have the opportunity to reach their potential,” McGuire said.
“This year we will invest close to $100,000 in women’s tennis in Australia, supporting our scholarship winners, athletes from rural and regional Australia and other programs.”
The Courier, April 16, 2018 | Daniel Short