The career of rising Gunnedah tennis star Aaron Osmond takes an upward swing in the next few weeks when he leaves to take up university studies in the United States and sets out to join the US collegiate tennis system.
The 18-year-old has been accepted into Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, where he will take on Kinesiology/Leisure Studies over the next four years, in his final year taking on a double degree in Sociology.
Just as challenging, though, will be his introduction to the highly competitive US collegiate tennis circuit, a traditional stepping stone to the international tennis tour for thousands of players over the years.
Osmond is ranked No. 3 in NSW and inside the top 20 in his age group, 18 and under, in Australia and has signed on for the Ouachita University tennis team roster.
Ouachita University is a private Baptist university with a strong tennis tradition and last year won the Central Southern Conference of the USA-wide intercollegiate competition to qualify for the national final 16 play-offs in Orlando, Florida.
Osmond has been on the radar of tennis judges for several years – from the 14 and under age group through to open level – and has won events in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory in a steadily developing career.
His wins in singles and doubles have come at the NSW Junior Claycourt titles, Victorian and Queensland Grasscourt Championships and the NT Junior Championships, as well as open and junior open tournaments on the North Coast, southern NSW and Victorian Country venues.
In the recent NSW Country singles at Forster, he won the under 18 singles and reached the semi-final of the open singles, where he was beaten by the player he defeated in the under 18 final.
He also played in the NSW Pizzey Cup team which finished second in the Australian All Schools’ titles in Perth last year.
Osmond won his first North West singles title in 2018 but missed the following year because of other tennis commitments before winning the singles, doubles and mixed in 2020 and 2021.
In 2020 he won the singles, doubles and mixed in the Gunnedah championships, as well as being Player of the Year in 2019 and 2020.
His Gunnedah coach Dale Martin said Osmond was a talented player with a strong work ethic.
“It’s going to be an exciting time for him. He’ll have to work hard but we all know he’ll do that, on and off the court.
“He has had this in mind for quite a few years and he has been working towards it. There are no guarantees but I’m sure he will relish the challenge.”
Martin said Osmond had been buoyed by the success of Gunnedah’s Gabby O’Gorman, who this year completed her studies in Pennsylvania, as well as playing five years on the collegiate circuit.
“Aaron’s like Gabby, a role model for young people. He’s always encouraging young people to improve their game,” he said.To order photos from this page click here