A FORMER Home Hill student, who started his tennis playing days on the Home Hill Tennis Association courts has risen in the ranks of professional tennis players to the stage where he has been named as one of the first recipients of the Ashley Cooper Scholarship for 2022.
Adam Walton (23) started his tennis career at the ripe old age of five years and now has an impressive list of accolades to his name, having taken out the top spot at the recent World Tennis Tour Cancun 2022.
He has previously made the semi-finals of the Australian 18 and under Championships, reaching an ITF World Junior Ranking of number 60 and representing the University of Tennessee in college tennis as part of the National Collegiate Athletic Association.
His dedication to the sport was apparent in the early years with Adam winning the State School 10 to 12 Tennis Championship in 2011 as a 12-year-old.
He received a tennis scholarship to the Anglican Church Grammar School (Churchie), which saw him move to Brisbane for his year 10, 11 and 12 schooling and competed 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 across Brisbane’s public transport network several nights a week for training.
However, it was Adam’s grassroots beginning at Home Hill and dedicated progression that has led him to where he is today as a worthy recipient for the inaugural Ashely Cooper Scholarship.
Ashley Cooper played in the golden era of Australian men’s tennis during 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 especially effective against left-handed opponents.
Throughout his life, Cooper was honoured for the roles he played, receiving an Order of Australia and recognised in the International and Australian Tennis Halls of Fame and Queensland Sports Hall of Fame.
Home Hill Tennis Association representative, Kate Casswell said they were immensely proud of Adam Walton. “We were quite surprised to find a little kid with such great skill . . . the older kids always knew they were in for a battle because of his never-give-up attitude,” she said.
“Adam, his older brother, Jack, and their parents travelled to numerous tournaments in Queensland for many years. He represented the Burdekin with pride, always displaying a great attitude on and off the court and in 2016, he received the Burdekin Shire Council Junior Sportsman Award.”
The new scholarship has been established in honour of the late Ashely Cooper AO, whose strong legacy lives on in the sport today.