Swindon tennis prodigy impresses talent spotters

By Barrie Hudson - 8 March 2024

Clubs & Activities
  • Alayna in action

    Alayna in action

A five-year-old Swindon tennis talent beat competition from older children for a place in the county under-eights squad.

  • Akayna with dad Hanif, right and coach Craig Loxton

    Akayna with dad Hanif, right and coach Craig Loxton

Alayna Robbani only took up the sport last summer, but her progress has delighted coach Craig Loxton and her proud parents. 

The prodigy regularly trains at Swindon Tennis in St Marks Recreation Ground. 

Mum Sofia is a teacher while dad Hanif is a recruitment who is also involved with the Bengal Square restaurant, formerly Bombay Lounge. 

Hanif recalled his daughter taking up a racquet: "It must have been last Summer in July. I've always been a lover of the sport, and when she was born I said I'd love for my daughter to take up tennis and enjoy the sport. 

"Over the summer we found out that Swindon Tennis here at St Mark's were running a Summer camp for when kids were on holiday. We enrolled Alayna into one of the Summer camps and she thoroughly enjoyed it. 

"She showed some potential back then, and that was when I approached Craig Loxton, who is training with her at the moment, and inquired about one-on-one lessons. She's been doing those since the end of August and she's progressed beyond everybody's expectations." 

Such was her progress, in fact, that when she attended a Wiltshire Tennis talent-spotting event she was selected to train with the under-eights. 


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