Opportunities don't happen—you create them
In her own words, Ammaarah Tim believes that ‘opportunities don’t happen- you create them.’
If her own experience is anything to go by, this statement couldn’t be more true. Ammaarah is a former student of Corinda State High School and has gone on to enjoy enormous success as a professional tennis player- both in Australia, and on scholarship at Texas State University in the US.
In 2011 at 14 years old, Ammaarah had already impressively gained an Australian tennis ranking and knew that she wanted to qualify for a full American college scholarship for tennis. Leaving St Aidan’s at the end of Year 8, Ammaarah arrived at CSHS to start Year 9 after the school allowed her to undertake only core subjects in Year’s 9 and 10 and leave school during the day for tennis training as an elective.
By the time she’d reached Year 12, Ammaarah had improved her Australian tennis ranking enormously and signed up to an American Agency called NCSA Athletic Recruiting, which instructed her on the criteria she’d have to fulfil in order to become a US tennis scholarship candidate.
Ammaarah undertook 5 subjects instead of 6 throughout Year’s 11 and 12, which ensured her ability to attain an OP score as well as aiding her scholarship application. She also completed the SAT exam to qualify for scholarship candidacy in the US. Her days at school were busy and often she’d left class by 1 pm to train- either at a centre in Samford Valley, or with her trainers at Corinda.
Ammaarah continued to strive for her scholarship and appreciates the school’s involvement and support in her dream. ‘Principal Helen Jamieson was very willing to provide me with the best opportunity she was capable of giving me to excel in tennis, as well as my studies, and allow me to proudly represent Corinda whenever I could. The teachers were very accommodating of my situation, which was a huge help.’
In January of 2015, her final year of high school, Ammaarah’s dream came true and she was offered a scholarship at Texas State University. She signed her scholarship contract in April that year, which required her to begin college life in January 2016 - one whole semester early. During her last 6 months at high school and as a member of the Open Girls Tennis team, she and her team went on to win the District Gala Day Competition and were crowned Metropolitan Champions. Her team was also nominated for the Qld Schools Team Tennis Tournament for the first time (being the only State School Team to qualify for the State Finals) coming a close second to St Hilda’s on the Gold Coast.
By the time Ammaarah graduated last November, she was ranked #137 in Australia’s professional women circuit- a vast improvement from her ranking 4 years beforehand, and an astonishing accolade for a 17-year-old girl. CSHS provided Ammarrah with the necessary transcripts for college, who says that ‘the transition from school to the US was smooth.’
Ammaarah is thrilled with her experience so far at Texas State and is loving the college and her teammates. She says that CHSH was a ‘major support’ to her tennis career and the current Tennis Excellence Program available to the students of CSHS today ‘is doing great things for the students and the sport.’
I feel that Corinda stands out from many schools, as they are long term development-based. Rather than only recruiting students who are providing results and excelling currently, they also welcome students whose Tennis journey has only just begun. They focus on development in order to provide for successful athletes for later on in their lives when it truly counts. This doesn’t just relate to their tennis excellence programme, but with other students whose talents lie in other areas.’
We applaud Ammaarah on her unwavering commitment to fulfilling her dream – you are an inspiration!