a MOTHER who fled the Arab Spring revolution so her daughter could pursue her tennis dream has opened a business to inspire other youngsters into the sport.
Sheffield-born Kate Grosvenor, 38, was forced to leave her husband and job as a headteacher in Egypt behind after the country’s revolution brought conflict to the doorstep of her three young daughters.
Living in capital city Cairo, the family were placed under house arrest as they faced daily threat of gunfire.
But her eldest daughter Gaby, 12, who wants to become a professional tennis player, was so desperate to continue her 30-hours-a-week training regime she defied safety fears.
After the revolution left the country in tatters, Gaby and her sisters Rowan, seven and five-year-old Jenna were unable to play the sport at the same level as before.
Mum Kate decided to return to home - without the girls’ father Nadeem, who had to stay behind to work in the country.
Now she has ploughed her life savings into new centre Tennis Pro Store on Dunston Road, Sheepridge, Chesterfield.
The store is one of the area’s only specialist shops which offers a racket stringing service and also has a hitting wall and computer software which gives people of all abilities the chance to have a go.
She hopes the success of Sheffield’s Jonny Marray - whose former coach John Gledden now teaches Gaby - in this year’s Wimbledon men’s doubles will inspire more youngsters to take up the sport.
Kate said: “During the revolution, we had men with machine guns next to our house.
“There was shooting by our back garden. Gaby didn’t play tennis for three days while we were under house arrest and that was all she wanted to do.
“She insisted on going to the club around the corner from our house.
“Every conversation in our house revolves around tennis. I played for 30 years and all three of my girls play.
“When the revolution came they couldn’t play as much as they had before. After school, Gaby goes to play tennis.
“She misses birthday parties and other things girls her age are doing because she is so determined. It’s amazing that she has such a dream at such a young age.”