Holly Stewart passes tennis racquet to a new generation

Young tennis star Holly Stewart's first year at a US college was cut short by the global pandemic, but she's making the most of her time back home in NZ, giving back to young women with less opportunity.

Holly Stewart knows how much a hand up can help change the course of someone’s life. She was given a tennis racquet by her uncle at the age of three and it set her on a journey around the world. And now, the 10-time New Zealand age-group champion is in a position to help lift another young girl up so she can chase her dreams too. The 19-year-old, back home from a scholarship at Boise State University in Idaho, has been helping out in communities across the country as part of the Tania Dalton Foundation’s ‘Boost’ initiative - which introduces intermediate-aged girls to a variety of sports to encourage them to keep active. One girl, in particular, touched Stewart's heart. “One of the little girls [in Whangarei] fell in love with tennis, and with the help of the Tania Dalton Foundation, I was able to give her some of my gear,” she says. “And then they were able to link her up to one of the coaches in Whangarei and she's started getting lessons. We were able to give her something to help follow her dreams, which is pretty cool.” The cost and accessibility barriers in sport mean not everyone is afforded the same opportunities, but programmes like those coming out of the foundation are helping to level the playing field. Click the link to read more.