Peterborough youth hope to become table tennis stars

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Two moms from Peterborough are using Emma Raducanu’s US Open victory to inspire their young daughters to become table tennis champions.

The 18-year-old made history Saturday September 11 after winning the US Open trophy after a straight set victory over Leylah Fernandez.

His sensational journey has inspired people around the world – with tennis academies across the country seeing a surge in inquiries.

The Bretton-based City of Peterborough Tennis Club also saw an increase in interest from young girls wanting to play the sport after Raducanu’s big win.

The current British number one was born to a Romanian father and Chinese mother in Toronto and moved to the UK at the age of two.

Members of the Chinese community in Peterborough sent congratulatory messages to the teenager and said they hope her journey will motivate young people in their community to strive for the better and work harder. They say they are “immensely proud” of Raducanu’s accomplishments and wish him much more.

Hampton resident Shu Luan is from Shenyang, northeast China – the same location as Renee, Raducanu’s mother – and says she is “honored” to share her legacy with the star. tennis.

His eight-year-old daughter, Amber Lemmon, is an aspiring table tennis star and trains six days a week after school at the Archway Table Tennis Academy on Lincoln Road.

Shu Luan hopes Emma’s story makes her daughter more hardworking and focused.

She said: “I didn’t watch the game but I followed his story. My family is from the same place in China – Shenyang.

“Emma regularly visits the city to see her grandmother and has practiced tennis at the Shenyang Institute over the years. To improve her hand-eye coordination, she also practices table tennis.

“We are so proud of her. What talent.

“My eight-year-old daughter now aspires to be a professional table tennis player. Amber is very good – She went to the National Championship at the University of Warwick in July and finished second in the Under 10 categories. She has an incredible coach.

“I use Emma as a role model so that she is inspired and works hard.

“She trains six days a week after school, so it’s hard work, but if you are focused and think about it, you will be successful.

“As long as she likes it, we’ll support her.”

Amber Lemmon, a student at Hampton Hargate Elementary School also plays the piano, enjoys swimming and playing basketball in her spare time. His dream is to represent Team GB at the Olympic Games in table tennis.

Speaking to Peterborough Matters, she said: “I want to go to the Olympics to represent England.

“I want to be like Emma when I grow up. I want to believe that if she can do it, so can I and I know she also plays ping pong as part of her training.

“Besides, she can speak Chinese and I can speak Chinese and my mum is from the same place as her mum – so that makes me very happy and proud of her.”

Faustina Yang, a freelance human resources consultant and also the city’s Chinese community leader, is another proud mother whose nine-year-old daughter Ilia is also an aspiring table tennis player.

Ilia, also from Hampton, attends the same table tennis academy on Lincoln Road.

Faustina said that every young person would admire Emma and that she felt “honored” to talk about her.

She said: “Someone said ‘oh everyone is trying to claim Emma as theirs’ but I would say everyone is proud of her and feels honored to share her multicultural heritage.

“She feels like she’s so grounded, working hard. It’s a combination of hard work from her, her parents, her coaches and everything that made her successful.

“His parents, his culture and his upbringing played a big part in his career. In the Mandarin speech, Emma said she learned about resilience and hard work from her mother. I can understand this as a Chinese mom.

“As a community we are proud of how Emma is such a good example of being such a versatile person, such an amazing student while also pushing beyond tennis.

“I told my daughter Ilia about Emma’s story. She plays table tennis and trains five days a week.

“So I told her to look at Emma as a role model – I’m sure a lot of parents will give the same advice.

“As a community, we feel proud and honored to share our heritage with this teenage star. Her personality looks so beautiful too.

“The support of her parents, her determination and her hard work brought her to where she is today and that’s what I say to my daughter. She needs to follow this advice and stay focused if she is to be successful.

“I can say for sure that Emma’s story has really given a lot of people new motivation in life.

“Ilia works hard to get better every day. The kids have an amazing trainer.”

9-year-old Ilia loves table tennis and hopes to win competitions in the years to come. During confinement, she continued her practice via zoom.

She said: “Emma is an inspiration, not only in winning competitions, but also in doing well in school because she works so hard. Whatever school she attends, she has to be famous, she has to. be so proud of her. “


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