Horwich tennis sensation wins place at Las Vegas university

Tennis sensation Peter O’Donovan

Tennis star Andre Agassi who was born in Las Vegas

First published in News The Bolton News: Photograph of the Author by , education reporter

THE bright lights of Las Vegas await a teenage tennis sensation who aced his exams to win a place at an American university.

Star Rivington and Blackrod High School student Peter O’Donovan will be continuing his studies — and his ambitions to become a professional tennis player — at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.

The 18-year-old, who has won a scholarship to attend the university, will no doubt be hoping to emulate Nevada’s most famous tennis star, Andre Agassi.

Peter, who lives in Horwich after moving here from the Lake District three years ago to get coaching at Bolton Arena, was approached by the university after they saw his tennis skills on a showreel.

He said: “I am excited about studying abroad. I have been playing tennis since I was six, and although the facilities at universities over here are good they are not as well as established as those in America, where sport is a very big deal.

“I will still be able to continue my academic studies.”

The teenager had to complete a number of exams and undergo an interview via Skype before being accepted to study economics and finance.

A scholarship means that Peter will not be incurring huge students debts as he would if he attended university in the UK, and his travelling expenses are also included in the package.

Peter, who is predicted to achieve top A-level grades, said: “From an academic point of view it is a good opportunity because it is something different to put on your CV and it makes you stand out at interviews.

“The school and Bolton Arena have been really supportive. To be able to play tennis and do my A-levels and get to this level — and to be able to go Nevada — is great.”

The school has a number of aspiring sports stars, particularly in the field of tennis — with a liaison officer helping students to excel in the classroom as well as on the court.

Paul Canning, director of sixth form at Rivington and Blackrod, said: “Peter is on our tennis programme and we do everything to support our students who are involved in sport.

“At the moment we have students involved in tennis and golf. Going to university in Las Vegas is a real opportunity for Peter.”

Peter will travel to America in August to start university life.

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