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Hi, my name is Kelly Drew. I am 18 years old and have officially been accepted to the University of Louisiana at Lafayette on a full tennis scholarship, Lafayette is located in Louisiana and has a Division 1 sporting programme.
I started the recruiting process by myself, filming and editing my video and applying for and sitting my SAT exam. I had the occasional email from colleges, but they weren’t exactly what I was looking for. Then I heard about Tennis NZ and Play Atlantic teaming up to offer a lucky tennis player the chance to win a Play Atlantic Premium award worth $5,000.00. I had heard of Play Atlantic before as a few of my friends had been through them and I had also been to one of their seminars. I was lucky enough to win this award and after meeting Charlie and listening to him explain the process and what we needed to do, I was impressed by his positive attitude, dedication, hard work and enthusiasm to get the job done. As somebody who has been through the American College System, Charlie knows how it works and was available to give us advice in what we were doing.
Within that week and the following weeks, I began receiving emails form multiple coaches who were interested in me and begun setting up a connection with them through emails and skype calls. This task was quite daunting as I was talking to someone I had never met before, and I also had to try and make a good impression to keep them interested in me. This also helped me become more informed about the Universities, locations, tennis and academic program. Play Atlantic also helped with this part as they provided a good set of questions to ask the coaches to find out as much useful information as possible.
After talking in person to the vast majority of coaches who had originally emailed. Myself and my parents met with Charlie to discuss the 4 – 5 particular universities that I was interested in and Charlie also gave his opinion of which Universities he thought would be the best potential fit for me based on location, academics, facilities and tennis program. We eventually narrowed it down to 2 Universities and made the decision that the best fit for me was UL at Lafayette.
Charlie continued to help me through the next steps of Eligibility, Visa’s etc.
Now that my recruitment process is coming to an end and I am preparing for College for when I leave in January, I cannot wait for this new chapter of my life to start. Living, learning and playing tennis in the States is truly an opportunity of a lifetime and encourage anyone that has the desire to take up this opportunity. Lastly, I would like to thank the Play Atlantic Team and particularly Charlie, I am so grateful for all you have done for me.