Home Hill Local Adam Walton Receives Ashley Cooper Scholarship | September 30, 2022


September 30, 2022 | Tennis Queensland

Resident of Home Hill, 23, Adam Walton was named as one of the first recipients of the Ashley Cooper Scholarship for 2022.

Starting his tennis career at the ripe old age of 5, Adam has an impressive list of accolades to his name. More recently, he made the semi-finals at Darwin International #2 in a grueling match against Dane Sweeny and is set to embark on a Cairns Tennis International campaign this week.

He has previously made the semi-finals of the Australian 18/u Championships, reaching an ITF Junior World Ranking of No. 60 and has represented the University of Tennessee in college tennis as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.

His dedication to the sport was evident in the early years with Adam winning the State School Tennis Championship 10-12 in 2011 at age 12. He was awarded a tennis scholarship to Anglican Church Grammar School (Churchie) which saw him move to Brisbane for his 10, 11 and 12 years of schooling and compete in the GPS tennis competition. While in Brisbane he was welcomed into the National Tennis Academy (under coaches Brent Larkham and Chris Mahony) which further demonstrated his dedication to his game, with Walton having to navigate his way through the transport network in common in Brisbane several nights a week for training.

It was his grassroots beginnings at Home Hill and his dedicated progression that led him to where he is today as a worthy recipient of the inaugural Ashley Cooper Fellowship.

Home Hill Tennis Association representing Kate Casswell said: “We are immensely proud of him. We were quite surprised to find a little kid with such skill, the older kids always knew they were going to fight because of his never giving up attitude.

“Adam, his older brother Jack and his parents have been in many tournaments in Queensland for many years. He represented the Burdekin with pride, always displaying a great attitude on and off the pitch. In 2016 he was awarded the Burdekin Shire Council Junior Sportsman of the Year award.

The new scholarship was established in honor of the late Ashley Cooper AOwhose strong legacy lives on in the sport today.

“Ashley was a legend to our sport whose contribution extended far beyond her exploits on the tennis court, it is only fitting that this scholarship be named in her honor,” said the CEO of Tennis Australia. Craig Tiley said.

Through this scholarship, administered by the Australian Tennis Foundation, more eligible young Australian athletes will be able to reach their full potential by alleviating some of the financial hardship associated with touring.

About Ashley Cooper AO

Ashley Cooper played in the golden age of Australian men’s tennis in which he won eight Grand Slam titles, including the Australian, Wimbledon and US singles titles in 1958.

He was a right-handed serve and volley player who was particularly effective against left-handed opponents.

In 1953 he was selected along with Roy Emerson as a junior member of the Australian Overseas Touring Team overseen by Harry Hopman. During this tour, he trained every day against Lew Hoad, Ken Rosewall, Rex Hartwig, Neale Fraser and Mervyn Rose, creating camaraderie between the players as well as great mutual respect. This was illustrated when Cooper and Fraser shared a hotel room in London and had breakfast together the day they played in the Wimbledon final.

It was with Fraser that he won three of his four Grand Slam doubles crowns. In 1957, he led the Davis Cup team, which included Mal Anderson and Rose, to victory over the United States in the Challenge Round at Kooyong.

The following year the result was reversed and Cooper was so distraught over the loss that he attempted to opt out of a professional contract he had signed with Jack Kramer because he felt he owed the ‘Australia.

His public profile was further heightened when he married Helen Wood, the reigning Miss Australia in 1959. Their wedding drew over three thousand onlookers, some of whom climbed into their cars to try and get a closer look at the couple Golden.

After a short professional career, Cooper returned to Brisbane where he had a successful business career before serving Tennis Queensland and Tennis Australia as an administrator.

In his role as Chairman of Tennis Queensland, he oversaw the development of Queensland’s world-class tennis facility, including the crown jewel, Pat Rafter Arena.

During his tenure, the old courts at Milton were demolished and a new tennis center was built on the site of an abandoned power station.

Throughout his life, Cooper was honored for the roles he played, receiving an Order of Australia and recognition in the International and Australian Tennis Halls of Fame and the Queensland Sports Hall of Fame. . The Rod Laver Pedestrian Bridge leads from Yerongpilly Railway Station to the Ashley Cooper River Walk, allowing visitors access to the Queensland Tennis Centre.

Ashley Cooper died in May 2020 after a long illness. He was 83 years old.


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