Local tennis player Matthew Ridden is currently wrestling with the enviable choice of which college to attend in the United States on a tennis scholarship.
“I haven’t decided yet because there still might be offers coming in, but I’ve got at least one firm offer from a college in California and one in Alabama,” Matthew said.
The former Trinity College student and protégé of Gladstone coach Rob McBean is an attractive prospect for the college scouts, excelling on the tennis courts as well as in the classroom, producing a creditable OP of 7 upon completing year 12 in 2017.
Tennis Queensland encourages up-and-coming tennis talent like Matthew, to profile themselves with a USA college selection program: “The program I am working with is called NSR, they work with a lot of colleges in America,” he said.
“They put a profile of us up on a website and the coaches from the colleges can take a look and make offers based on your profile. I put up the stats of matches I have won, videos of play and they can choose: they say “Oh, that guy would be great for our team.”
Currently in the running for Matthew’s freshman year are Ridley College in California and Wallace State in Alabama:
“It’s tough to choose. Both have their pros and cons, they both sound pretty good.”
No matter where he ends up, Matthew will complete the standard two-year “general studies” program: “They have that program at most American colleges so I can do general studies for two years while I make up my mind,” he said.
With parents Hayley and Ken and sister Mana waving farewell to Matthew for an extended period, he says feelings are mixed…
“I think Mum will miss me, but on the other hand they think it’s really exciting,” he said.
“I have mixed emotions too, I’m excited and nervous at the same time, but I think it will be a really great experience.”