Melanie South - Great Britain Tennis Player

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Profile for magazine - 3/12/2000

Profile - non tennis

Melanie passed her Juvenile Awards in Tap Dancing and Stage Dancing.
Melanie appeared on stage at the Epsom Playhouse with the Hinchley Manor Operatic Society in Hans Christian Anderson and passed her Primary Dancing Award where she was Commended.
Melanie won a Poetry Competition organised by Turners of Croydon and passed her Preliminary Medal in Stage Dancing and Tap Dancing together with the Juvenile Award for Ballet.
We took Melanie and her brother to South Carolina where they trained with the World Class tennis taken by Dennis Van Der Meer, President and founder of the United States Professional Tennis Registry. Her Dad passed the course with Dennis as a USPTR Instructor. Melanie this year also passed her Bronze award for Tap Dance.
Melanie continued with her dancing and also had private swimming lessons after her tennis squad.She was determined to achieve her Gold Medal.
Melanie achieved her Gold Medal for swimming.
Tennis was now the number one sport and the swimming and dance classes came to an end as there was now just not any time to fit it all in with the increased travel involved with tennis tournaments around the country.
The family were invited to appear on TV on the Big Breakfast morning programme as the Family of the Week. This was a very exciting week and Melanie learnt a lot about appearing before the cameras, speaking with a microphone on, looking into camera, taking direction and meeting new people. She played a tennis game where the viewers had to guess how many tennis balls she would hit over the net which was set up in the large garden and they won a holiday for guessing correctly. We met many famous people and were sent to Wimbledon to queue up and then give the viewers updates on the TV about our day the next morning. We were nearly mobbed by fans looking for us to collect their Big Breakfast card to hold up saying U Beauty. We were asked to take photos of as many famous people as we could find and then bring them back to the studios to show them to the viewers the next day. It was a very exciting week and Melanie learnt a lot in that time about the Media.
We were amazed when we travelled to a tournament in Yorkshire the following week that someone at the hotel suddenly said "You were on television last week".
Melanie was selected to train as a ballgirl at the Stella Artois and appeared on television again as the girls all sang a song which was shown at the end of the days filming. She thoroughly enjoyed being so close to the Worlds Best tennis players and became even more convinced that she wanted to achieve her dream and become a Professional Tennis Player. Her favourite saying is "If it is to be, it is up to me". As a family, she has our full support to achieve her dream.

by Sheila J. South

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