A TEENAGE tennis player from Selkirk has accepted a four-year academic scholarship to study at Coe College in Cedar Rapids Iowa where he will major in kinesiology.

Ivan Burt-Smith who attended Kirkhope and Lillisleaf primary schools and Selkirk High School selected the college based on its tennis facilities and the chance to train under coach Eric Rodgers.

The 17-year-old has already built up an impressive tennis CV having represented the South of Scotland at every age group and the Scottish Borders in the Annual Scottish Inter-District competition at Kilgraston.

He also spent six months playing and studying at Global Tennis Academy in Mallorca and has won a number of titles at Grade Four County Tours.

Ivan previously played for Selkirk Tennis Club in the Borders Junior and Men’s Leagues and for St Serfs in the Edinburgh Men’s League as well as representing David Lloyd’s Corstorphine team in the Scottish Men’s Premier League.

He said: “I fly out on August 11 and am really looking forward to it. Last year I looked at a number of colleges in America and sent them videos of my tennis. Coaches from a few colleges were interested so I looked into it and chose the best fit for me which was Coe College.

“The tennis facilities and Coach Eric Rogers seemed to be the best fit. It’s an academic scholarship but I will be playing tennis for the college.

“It’s a four year course and I will be majoring in kinesiology which is the study of biomechanics, similar to sports science.

“Hopefully that will lead to a career in sport at a high level, either tennis or football.”

Ivan will be in good hands as head coach Rodgers has led 17 Coe men's teams to regular season conference championships and 13 conference tournament championships and last month The Coe College men's tennis team were recognized by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association for academic excellence.

It’s been a memorable summer for the Burt Smiths as Ivan’s big sister Olga who is now studying linguistics at Newcastle University, collected her Duke of Edinburgh Gold award.at an event hosted by the Earl of Wessex, Prince Edward at Buckingham Palace on May 16.