An outstanding member of the men’s 1st team this year, Carlos has brought a wealth of experience following four years playing in the US. A leader to all members of the team, on and off the court, he has been recognised by the University of Essex at the 2024 Sports Awards as ‘Newcomer of the Year’, which is a massive achievement. According to Performance Tennis Coach Nigel Parsons, “he is a pleasure to work with, giving 100% in everything he does for the team.”

Introducing…Carlos Corser

Carlos Corser Essex Blades serving in tennis training

What inspired you to start playing tennis, and how did you become involved in our university's scholarship program?

From an early age, tennis has been more than just a sport to me. Growing up in Puerto Ordaz, Venezuela, football and baseball were the go-to activities for kids. I was captivated by the athleticism of tennis, and the ability of the tennis greats to remain composed under pressure. My journey began at six years old playing at the Centro Italo Venezolano de Guayana club. Now, after almost 18 years, I find myself part of the outstanding performance program at the University of Essex. The coaches throughout my life have played a significant role in my success and instrumental in making me fall in love with this sport.

I worked on my skills at local clubs and regional tournaments; early mornings, intense training sessions, and countless hours on the court and when I decided to pursue higher education, the University of Essex emerged as the perfect blend for academics and tennis. Applying for the sports scholarship was a natural step, and I was overjoyed when selected. This opportunity felt like recognition of my achievements and validation for the hard work and sacrifices made along the way.

Can you share some highlights from your tennis career leading up to the BUCS National Finals?

There are several key standouts.

  • Winning the National Junior Championships in Venezuela fuelled my determination. 
  • When I moved to the United States to continue my education at Southwest Baptist University, I quickly made my mark ranking in the Top 50 Singles Division II in the NCAA and securing a top 5 doubles position in the Central Region.
  • Leading our team to three consecutive conference championships and making three national appearances in the D-II NCAA Nationals. 

The University of Essex coaches, Nigel Parsons and Jamie Champion have been exceptional in their support and guidance. Their expertise and encouragement have been crucial to my development and success on this incredible journey.

What is a typical training day, and how do you balance academics with athletics?

It begins with an intense on-court session, focusing on refining technique, honing strategies, and building endurance. This is followed by gym workouts aimed at enhancing strength, agility, and overall fitness. The afternoons are dedicated to my studies with the same dedication, planning, and commitment. 

I’ve developed a routine that allows necessary time for both. Time management is crucial, and the support from the University of Essex, including flexible schedules and academic resources, has been instrumental in maintaining this balance. The ability to stay focused and prioritize tasks has been key.

How has being part of our university's tennis program helped you grow as a player/person?

Being part of Essex’s tennis program has been a transformative experience. The exceptional coaching, facilities, and competitive environment have all elevated my game. 

The tennis program has also taught me invaluable life lessons about teamwork, resilience, and leadership. The friendship among my teammates has helped with the transition to fit in, our shared goals and our passion to succeed have been hugely enjoyable when we see our hard work pay off; that supportive community makes an impact.

What were your thoughts and feelings preparing to compete in the BUCS National Finals?

A mixture of excitement, anticipation, and gratitude. Competing at this level is a dream come true, a culmination of years of hard work, dedication, and unwavering support from my coaches, teammates, and family. There is a profound sense of pride in representing the University of Essex and a determination to give it my absolute best.

Can you tell us about a memorable match or moment from your journey to the finals?

One of the most memorable moments was the final qualification match to the BUCS Nationals. The match was intense, every point counted. It was such a great atmosphere; I could feel the support from everyone around me and fought hard. It came to the deciding set before I managed to secure victory. The exhilaration at that moment is something I will never forget, the essence of what it means to represent the Essex Blades. 

Who has been your biggest supporter and what role have they played in your success?

My biggest supporters are my family. Their belief in my abilities and constant encouragement have been the core of my success. They have stood by me through every high and low, offering guidance, motivation, and unconditional love. From driving me to early morning practices to cheering me on at every match, their support has been relentless. My mom, dad, sister, and close friends, whom I consider family, have always been there in both the good times and the bad.

My coaches and teammates at the University of Essex have also played a crucial role. Their expertise, support, and belief in my potential have been instrumental in my growth as a player. They have pushed me to be my best, challenged me to overcome obstacles, and celebrated every achievement with me. I am deeply grateful for their unwavering support and the role they have played in my career.

What advice do you have for aspiring student-athletes looking to follow the same path as you?

I would say: stay dedicated, be disciplined, and never lose sight of your goals. The journey is challenging but the rewards are immense. Balancing academics and sports requires excellent time management, a strong work ethic, and a supportive network.

Surround yourself with people who believe in you and push yourself to be your best. Take every opportunity to learn and grow, both on and off the court. Celebrate the small wins, learn from the setbacks, and remain focused on your goals. Your perseverance and passion will pave the way for success. Remember, every challenge is an opportunity for growth, and every effort brings you one step closer to your goals. Believe in yourself, stay committed, and enjoy the ride.

Beyond the BUCS National Finals, what are your goals and aspirations for your tennis career?

Continue improving and competing at higher levels. I hope to pursue professional opportunities and give back to the tennis community by mentoring young athletes and promoting the sport. I am committed to continuing my development as a player and contributing positively to the Essex tennis community.

Is there anything you'd like to share about your experience as a tennis scholar at the University of Essex?

The support system here, from academic staff to the performance department, has been exceptional. I am deeply grateful for the support and encouragement. It’s been an honor to represent the Essex Blades, and I am proud of what we have achieved together. I am confident that this program will become one of the best in the coming years, and I hope to remain involved in some capacity to witness its growth and help achieve our ultimate goals. Thank you to everyone who has supported us - your belief in us makes all the difference.

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Sport scholarships and bursaries.

We are committed to supporting and developing high performance athletes. Find out whether you could be eligible for a sport scholarship or bursary plus a range of additional benefits too when you join the University of Essex.