The city of Hilo and the surrounding area is rich in athletic talent; With all the great sports clubs, it’s a great place to develop as an athlete. In the “In Sports Spotlight” section we talk about these talents. This time: tennis star Nora Hardewijk.
When Nora started playing tennis at TPC Heiloo at the age of eight, it instantly became her match. It soon became clear that she had a great deal of talent. After 2 years at TPC Heiloo Nora is on a serious path to becoming better. She leaves for TC Bakkum where she is guided by coach Ronald van der Horst. She started an individual program with Ronald, where she trains a lot on her own, in addition to group training.
This year, Noura is second in the Netherlands among girls under the age of sixteen. All the training has paid off. She played about 80 matches last year and won several tournaments. Very special, especially when you consider that Nora was only a first year under sixteen this year. But you don’t just become second in the Netherlands. She trains a lot, about six times a week. Several times in a group but also many times alone with coach Ronald. Nora doesn’t mind at all that she practices a lot. “I want to make the most of it, and I really enjoy playing tennis a lot,” says Nora. Sometimes it’s hard with school and friends. She often goes straight from school to the tennis court, so she has to give up many fun things. “I used to find it difficult, but it’s less difficult now. I have very nice friends who take me into consideration,” Noura says.
Fun is important
When Nora talks about her sport, a smile immediately appears on her face. “Tennis has so many different aspects, which makes it so much fun. So, you have the physical part where a lot of different things are important. You have to be in good shape, but your footwork and leg strength are also very important. Plus,” Nora says enthusiastically. “In addition, tennis demands a lot from you mentally.” She wants to get her best in all areas and enjoys it. However, fun is a word that comes up a lot between Nora and her coach Ronald. If you train a lot, it is also important that you enjoy it Nora gets a lot of fun from hitting the ball, but she also has a lot of fun with coach Ronald. The two have a special bond, and with Ronald’s positive way of training, Nora is happy to train hard. She is also having a great time at TC Bakkum. “I I enjoy being with my teammates at matches. “I also enjoy playing together more than playing alone,” says Nora.
Nora is only fourteen years old and will turn fifteen tomorrow (Thursday 16 November). She doesn’t really know yet if she wants to make a living playing tennis later. “I would love to, but at the moment it’s mainly about getting the most out of it. I want to bring out the best in myself. If that means I can become a professional, then I think that’s of course very cool. I might also want to,” says Nora. “I want to play college tennis in the US after high school, but I’m not sure yet.” She wants to perform well again next season and maintain her second place in the world rankings.
Text: Lars Verkamen
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