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http://girlguiding.org.uk/news/big_brow ... mpion.aspxTennis player Laura Robson serves up ace as Girlguiding’s #BigBrownieBirthday Champion
It’s game, set and match as Olympic silver medallist Laura Robson joins Girlguiding’s half a million members in celebrating the 100th birthday of our Brownie section.
Laura - the UK’s number one women’s tennis player - will use her new role as Big Brownie Birthday Champion to inspire thousands of Brownies across the country to tackle new adventures.
‘Brownies is a massive part of the life of hundreds of thousands of girls and volunteers all over the UK - so I’m unbelievably proud that I get to join in their 100th birthday celebrations,’ Laura explained.
‘It’s so important for girls to have the chance to develop a sense of adventure while they’re growing up, to raise their aspirations and to understand just what an amazing, positive impact they have the potential to make. This is what Brownies is all about – and I’m very excited to be a part of that,’ she added.
Laura's made a short film about her new role, which you can watch below:
Taking on the challenge
Girls will be marking the Big Brownie Birthday by taking on challenges of all sizes - from carrying out acts of kindness and abseiling, to raising awareness of issues affecting girls everywhere.
As their special guest, Laura will be tackling some exciting Brownie adventures of her own – all led by the girls themselves. She has already shared her top tennis tips with one lucky Brownie group from Tooting, South London.
‘The Brownies get to pick names for all their Leaders and they decided to come up with one for me too: Ice Tiger! I have a feeling this year is going to be a lot of fun – and I suspect the Brownies will be keeping me on my toes,’ Laura revealed.
Chief Guide Gill Slocombe said: ‘We’re delighted that Laura is going to be joining the Brownies for this once-in-a-lifetime celebration.
‘We passionately believe girls have the potential to succeed at whatever challenges and opportunities they choose to put their minds to - and Laura is the embodiment of this. She is such an inspiring role model for this generation of Brownies and for all our young members.’
‘This year is an opportunity to celebrate the amazing opportunities all girls and young women can get through guiding and the incredible impact our 100,000 inspirational volunteers have.’
Celebrate with us
We hope you’ll join us in giving Laura a warm guiding welcome on Twitter! Follow the excitement by checking out Laura’s tweets, ours at @girlguiding and following the hashtag #BigBrownieBirthday.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis ... Hadad.htmlLaura Robson swaps coach again and opts for experience with Colombian Mauricio Hadad
Success: Mauricio Hadad helped Heather Watson win her first WTA title.
British No 1 turns to Heather Watson's former mentor who is latest to be given the task of handling the ups and downs of 20-year-old's developing career.
Laura Robson has appointed a new coach, once again, and this time she has gone for a man with experience of the British tennis scene.
Mauricio Hadad worked with Heather Watson for the two most successful years of her career, helping Watson win a maiden WTA title in Osaka 18 months ago.
While Hadad is both experienced and level-headed, he must know that his new job offers little security. You could make a full football team out of the people who have worked with Robson since 2003 – the year when Jo Durie’s former coach Alan Jones first began to guide this extraordinarily gifted nine-year-old.
In fact, the tenures have been growing shorter and shorter as the expectations on Robson’s shoulders have grown. Zeljko Krajan (appointed in 2012) lasted nine months, Miles Maclagan (2013) four, and the last unconventional deal with Nick Saviano and Jesse Witten barely made it through two.
Perhaps that last bump in the road was unsurprising: Saviano was already working with the Australian Open semi-finalist Genie Bouchard – formerly a close friend of Robson’s who is now on icy terms with her – while Witten returned to the ATP tour earlier this month, losing matches in Ecuador and Indian Wells.
It is to Hadad’s advantage, in the circumstances, that he is a level-headed character who has seen the tour from every angle.
Born in Colombia 42 years ago, he was a solid if unspectacular player who reached a high point of No 78 in the world, and then became a disciple of the legendary Floridian coach Nick Bollettieri. He also spent a short period as the travelling coach of the teenage Maria Sharapova.
With luck, this breadth of experience will help Hadad handle the ups and downs that characterise Robson’s developing career, as well as the extra media interest that comes with her status as British No 1.
He has at least worked with the British No 1 before – even if her name was Watson at the time. If that relationship ran out of steam last year, it was not entirely Hadad’s fault: Watson plummeted down the rankings as a result of the glandular fever that affected her for most of the season, and understandably felt she needed a change of set-up.
This week, Hadad and Robson have been training at Bollettieri’s academy in Bradenton, and it is Robson’s intention to return to action at the Sony Open in Miami in a fortnight’s time.
A nagging wrist injury has prevented her from playing since an unhappy outing against Kirsten Flipkens in January’s Australian Open, when it seemed she was neither fully fit nor properly prepared.
We can only hope that she is ready this time. As an member of the IMG stable, she will naturally be keen to participate in their biggest tournament. But wrist injuries are notoriously difficult to shake off, as the unhappy case of Juan Martín del Potro – who, like Robson, has been affected by pain in both wrists – should make clear.
As for Watson, she is playing in Indian Wells this week and made a terrific start with a 7-5, 6-4 win over the fast-emerging Swiss 16-year-old Belinda Bencic. That result means that she is on a run of 10 consecutive straight-sets victories, if you discount her retirement halfway through a match in Acapulco, where she was suffering from gastric problems.
Watson faced a difficult assignment against Agnieszka Radwanska, the world No 3, in the second round. But her ranking, which, started the week at No 134, should drop under 120 whatever happens.
Hadad wcześniej współpracował z Heather, więc jest obyty w tym środowisku. Miał także swój udział w wygranym Wimbledonie 2004 przez Marię Sharapovą. Kolumbijczyk i trener od przygotowania fizycznego Mark Wellington (który też pomagał Rosjance na początku jej kariery) spędzili ostatnie kilka dni wraz z Laurą w akademii IMG na Florydzie. Brytyjka ma wystąpić w Miami. Mam tylko nadzieję, że powodem takiej decyzji nie jest to, iż jest członkiem IMG (to jest ich największy turniej).
W(12): Eastbourne 2010 i 11 innych.
Tour de France 1986, 1989, 1990.
Należy do lubianych przeze mnie zawodników, ale nie mam jakiegoś bzika na jego punkcie.Advantage pisze:Nie wiem, jaki jest Twój stosunek do Del Potro.
W(12): Eastbourne 2010 i 11 innych.
Tour de France 1986, 1989, 1990.
http://www.espn.co.uk/tennis/sport/story/300307.htmlRobson's wrist could rule her out of Wimbledon
Laura Robson's 2014 season may hinge on an injection to her injured left wrist as she faces a race against time to be fit for the French Open and Wimbledon.
Robson has played just two matches this year. The 20-year-old retired after suffering a recurrence of a long-standing wrist injury in Hobart against Yanina Wickmayer in the build-up to the Australian Open, where she was beaten in the first round.
After officially withdrawing from next week's La Princesse Lalla Meryem tournament in Marrakesh and the Mutua Madrid Open, which starts on May 3, Robson is not scheduled to return to competitive action until the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, little more than a week before the French Open starts on May 25.
According to The Times, Robson may require an injection in her wrist which, if successful, could see her sidelined for six weeks - too late for the French Open but ready to return prior to Wimbledon.
If an injection does not alleviate the pain in her wrist, surgery may be the answer - a prospect that would rule Robson out of the entire summer and potentially the rest of the 2014 season.
For Robson, the timing of the injury lay-off is particularly cruel given her progress over the past two years. The current world No. 64 reached as high as 27 in 2013 following her run to the last 16 at Wimbledon, and ended the year inside the top 50.
"It was last year, over the clay and the grass, where I was healthy and playing well," Robson told The Times. "I'd love to get back to that, and that's what I'm working towards."
Robson is currently being trained by Mauricio Hadad and fitness coach Mark Wellington, who have both worked with Maria Sharapova in the past.
I wanted to inform my lovely supporters that I have decided to have minor wrist surgery at the Mayo clinic with one of the best wrist doctors in the world, Dr. Richard Berger. Dr. Berger is very confident that I will be able to return to the tennis court pain free before you even have time to miss me. Although sadly, I will have to miss the French Open and Wimbledon.
http://www.standard.co.uk/news/uk/laura ... 96094.htmlLaura Robson's search for fresh tennis talent starts with three-year-olds
Three-year-olds are being encouraged to take up tennis in a drive to find a new generation of stars which is backed by British No 1 Laura Robson.
The programme from the Lawn Tennis Association and Virgin Active aims to get three to 10 year olds picking up a racket for the first time.
Michael Downey, the new head of the LTA, has said that British elite players need to be “tougher” and “hungrier” to win more Grand Slams.
The Active Aces programme, to be introduced at four Virgin Active Health and Racquet clubs in London, will offer coaching to children of all abilities.
Lessons start from £12 per hour for members.
A free talent competition will also be held this summer for one boy and one girl to win family membership, sports equipment and the chance to play with Robson, 20.
She said: “Whilst I am extremely disappointed that I’m not going to be competing at Wimbledon this summer due to having minor wrist surgery, I am incredibly excited about focusing my energy on helping Virgin Active find and nurture the next generation of tennis talent. It is brilliant to see such a fantastic initiative which helps coach the young stars of the future.
“As a child I was very fortunate to have some incredible coaching support and guidance to help me to the top level, hopefully Active Aces will mean that there will be more opportunities for British youngsters in the long term.”
Gary Stewart, of Virgin Active, said: “We hope our competition and the Active Aces programme will help drive interest and involvement in the sport amongst a new generation.”
Earlier, Mr Downey said: “(It’s) a toughness we have to create because I think we’re competing with countries, whether you want to admit it or not, where for some of those kids it’s about getting to a better life. It’s not just about succeeding in tennis.”
Robson’s new coach has said he is “100 per cent confident” that she will make a full recovery after she has the operation at a US clinic. She has been unable to play for three months and the decision to have surgery means missing next month’s French Open, which is likely to cause her to drop out of the world’s top 100.
http://www.womenshealthmag.co.uk/fitnes ... ennis-pro/10 Fitness tips from a tennis pro
We can't all partner with Andy Murray, but there's a lot you can learn from Olympic silver medallist and former Junior Wimbledon Champion Laura Robson. New balls, please!
1. Mix it up
“My workout changes every day. Every second day is weights and the rest is on the track or recovery.”
2. Building fast-twitch muscle doesn’t just mean sprints
“In the gym I’m working on fast twitch fibres so a lot of deadlifts, non weight-bearing lunges and pull-ups.”
3. Have a killer exercise
“A lunge with a bar on my shoulders which has helped me a lot. I push off as fast as I can.”
4. Get competitive with your training buddy or PT
“We get super competitive – he [my coach] is better at short and I’m better at long sprints so it’s game on. I’m starting to think he chooses exercises on purpose because he’s better at them.”
5. Eat a proper breakfast with some carbs
“I have porridge no matter the weather, and add fruits and seeds.”
6. Motivate with music
“My iPod is always on in the gym and everyone complains about it. It varies between 80s music and rap. John Farnham ‘You’re the Voice’ pumps me up every time. It’s very inspirational!”
7. Need a Plan B? Make it work for you
“So far this year I’ve only played one full match but hopefully that’ll be cleared up soon and I can get going. It’s a good time to get in more fitness work.”
8. Spice up your protein
“I’m going through a salmon phase at the moment. There’s a Jamie Oliver recipe I love with a homemade salsa with chilli.”
9. Add protein to smoothies
“There’s an open blender in one of the gyms which you can add anything into and I add a scoop of protein.”
10. Be prepared with healthy snacks
“Tournaments are tough because you never know what time you’re going to be playing, so you always have to be ready with gels or fruit and snack appropriately.”
Laura Robson was speaking at the launch of Virgin Active’s Active Aces, a tennis coaching programme that will run at all of its 21 racquets clubs, helping coach the next generation of British tennis stars and inspiring activeness through sport in youngsters across the country. For more information visit virginactive.co.uk
http://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle ... -interviewLaura Robson: 'I was way too competitive at school sports days'
Laura Robson at the launch of Active Aces.
Britain's No 1 female tennis player on sprint reps, Nando's chicken pitta and cheesy pop for a run at the gym.
Hello! What have you been up to recently?
I just had surgery on my wrist so I've been recovering from that for the past few weeks.
You do some running for your training – I know this because I was at the track in Barnes recently and you and I were the only wet, windswept runners there. You seemed to be doing fairly short sprints – how much of that do you do as part of your training?
My trainer and I usually do four track sessions a week, mixing between 400m, 200m and 100m so there is plenty of variation. We also do a lot of timed training – 90 seconds on, 60 seconds off type thing.
Where is your favourite place to run and why?
I absolutely love running in Richmond Park; it's so relaxing – unless you go on the weekends when the cyclists are on the warpath.
Do you remember your first ever race?
I don't remember my first race but I do recall various school sports days where I became way too competitive. We were seven or eight years old and I had a very stern conversation with my relay team-mates about how crucial it was for us to win.
So when was your first ever tennis match?
I played my first match aged six. Neither my opponent nor I knew how to score so our parents had to help us out from the sidelines.
What's your greatest running achievement?
I always enjoy long-distance running but it's not very tennis specific, so I don't get to do it too often. I won a silver medal for 800m in some sort of national school championships when I was 11, does that count?
When someone asks for a training tip, what do you tell them?
Find the perfect pair of shoes and have orthotics fitted if you can. Did wonders for my knees and ankles.
Do you like training gadgets?
Every time I'm on the track I use a Polar heart-rate monitor and watch. I think all the GPS watches are very cool though.
Do you exercise to music?
I generally don't use an iPod for track work as I'm focusing on heart rate and times. When I'm in the gym or running alone there's always music. If I'm in the weights gym I usually go for rap or rock music; for running it's dance or cheesy pop.
What's your favourite post-race indulgence?
A Nando's chicken pitta with pineapple!
What is the worst thing about running?
I went through the usual patellar tendinitis when I was still growing, so my knees prefer it when I'm not running.
And the best?
The mixed feeling of exhaustion and bliss when you finish a really tough session.
What do you eat on the morning of a race, long run – or indeed match?
I go for a mixed muesli with some added flaxseed and lactose-free milk.
What's the furthest distance you've ever run?
I've been on runs where I've lost track of time, but the longest official race I've done is a 10k.
Do you ever run barefoot?
No thank you! I run in Adidas Boosts and the cushioning is perfect for me.
If you had to choose who to watch, would it be Mo Farah or Usain Bolt?
Too tough to choose! I'd love to watch the tactics of one of Mo's 10ks and the raw speed of Bolt in person.
Who is the greatest runner ever?
I think there are so many phenomenal runners. I grew up watching Cathy Freeman, Kelly Holmes and Michael Johnson, so I'd say they are my favourites.
Laura Robson was speaking at the launch of Virgin Active's Active Aces, a tennis coaching programme that will run at its 21 racquet clubs; virginactive.co.uk.
Ben Rothenberg @BenRothenberg
Youngest commentator ever? Laura Robson, 20, will be on BBC commentary team for Wimbledon. Expect wit. Reigning champ Bartoli on there, too.
http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tenn ... 37731.htmlLaura Robson: 'How I look is not important. How I hit the ball is'
Laura Robson's yellow Rally For Bally wristband is in support of the three tournaments being played in memory of Elena
The 20-year-old can't play at Wimbledon, but will be there for the BBC. She talks to Kate Youde about body confidence and her 'monotone' voice.
As a top tennis player, Laura Robson surely enjoys the sporting bragging rights in her family. Not so, at least when it comes to trophies.
That honour goes instead to mum, Kathy, a former basketball player. "She does still have the biggest trophy of the family, which is very upsetting," jokes the 20-year-old. "I'm a close second. It's from an under-12s tournament where they just try and give you the biggest trophy possible to make you feel good about yourself."
She does, however, have an Olympic silver medal, won with Andy Murray in the mixed doubles at London 2012.
Plans to add to the trophy cabinet are currently on hold as the left-hander, who lost her British No 1 ranking to Heather Watson last week, recovers from surgery to repair the wrist injury that has kept her out since January. It means missing Wimbledon, the tournament that brought her to the nation's notice six years ago, when she won the junior girls' title. When the competition gets under way a week tomorrow, she will be part of the BBC commentary team.
It wasn't a decision Robson took lightly. For a long time, she didn't watch any tennis or check live scores because it was "too depressing". "I'm definitely going to be very jealous of everyone playing and that's something I had to think about a lot before I agreed to do it, just whether I'd be able to actually sit and watch all these people playing on the court that I would want to be on," she says. "But I think I'm past that, and I'm just happy for the people that are doing well at the moment."
She has work to do before taking to the airwaves, however, after being told she has to be herself "with an extra 15 per cent".
"My voice is apparently quite monotone and so if something's 'fantastic' it's not just 'fantastic', it's 'fan-tas-tic'," she says more slowly and expressively, articulating every syllable.
A fellow commentator is the reigning Wimbledon champion, Marion Bartoli, who the presenter John Inverdale last year told Radio 5 Live listeners was "never going to be a looker", causing a storm of protest. Bartoli and Inverdale have since commentated together on the French Open for ITV.
Robson is diplomatic when I ask whether she thinks Inverdale should have been sacked over the controversial comment. "I mean, I think everyone says stuff that they don't mean at some point, just not everyone says it on national TV in front of a couple of million people," she says. "But I think really it's Marion's and John's business and if they've put it behind them then I guess everyone [else] can as well."
Not that she has no views on sexism in sport. When we meet on the day of the French Open final – between Maria Sharapova and Simona Halep – she has found it "totally unbelievable" that most of the headlines she has seen about Halep concern the breast reduction she had five years ago, rather than how well she has played to reach the final, her first in a Grand Slam. "That's just ridiculous, seeing as it was not just so long ago but it's totally irrelevant to how she's playing," she adds. "I watched her semi-final and you see what she can do with the ball, and I don't see how you can even bring in boobs to the conversation."
We are chatting at the Chiswick Riverside club in London, where, in her role as Virgin Active ambassador, she is judging another final; that of the health club's Search for a Tennis Ace. Developed with the Lawn Tennis Association, the aim is to select two budding stars of the future to nurture in each of the next three years.
Her mother always encouraged Robson to be active, but she is aware body confidence issues stop some girls playing sport because they "don't want to get sweaty" or "mess up their hair".
"You know, sometimes I feel that too – if I play in a super humid country I feel totally gross – but it's just an enjoyable thing to do and, to me, it doesn't matter if you're playing competitively what you look like because it's more important how you're actually hitting the ball," she adds.
Born in Melbourne, Australia, in 1994, Robson moved to Singapore and then the UK at six. It was at that age she first discovered tennis: if she picked up the balls when her parents and elder siblings, Nick and Emily, played doubles, she was allowed to play for 10 minutes. She also watched a lot of sport on television and was inspired by Australian sprinter Cathy Freeman and German tennis ace Steffi Graf. "I think there's so many athletes like that now that young girls can look up to; it's just finding the right person for you," she says.
While coverage of women's sport is overshadowed in volume by men's, Robson says having joint tournaments, so journalists are around for both men's and women's matches, has improved coverage of women's tennis.
A fan of other sports, she started supporting the American football team Carolina Panthers after seeing their player Cam Newton in a Florida gym a few years back. "This is going to sound like such a loser comment but he was warming up and skipping with a 20-kilo skipping rope," she reveals with an embarrassed giggle. "I mean, if you've ever seen someone do that, it's quite impressive… and so that was it for me, I was like, I think I love you!"
This youthful crush, like other enthusiasms, such as her love of hiphop karaoke, serves as a reminder that, despite a maturity gained from being away from home from a young age, she is still only just out of her teens.
She is a role model for many young players, just as she once looked up to Elena Baltacha, the former player who died from liver cancer last month aged 30.
After a deep breath, Robson recalls, "I first met Bally when I was about eight and we practised at the same club. At the time, she was British No 1, so it was such a big deal to just be on the court next to her and I used to stalk her practise sessions."
Robson is wearing a yellow Rally For Bally wristband, in readiness for the exhibition doubles matches being played today at three tournaments in memory of Baltacha, and to raise money for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and The Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis. Due to her injury, she will be cheering from the sidelines at the Aegon Championships at Queen's Club in London. "The plan," she says, "is to be able to play mini-tennis again by the middle of August."
British tennis fans will be hoping it won't be too long until she lifts a trophy to rival her mum's.
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