Barry Fulcher grew up in a Tennis Family. His parents and his siblings were avid players, so it was only fitting that Barry start honing his racquet and court skills as a toddler in the UK. His love of the game and of competition led him to a very successful junior tennis career such that he decided to go the professional route rather than come to the US to try his hand in our college tennis system (much to his mother's chagrin, I might add!).
After realizing he couldn't sustain a pro career, Barry moved into coaching. However, his love of competition persisted and he sought out tournaments where he could continue to hone his game. He soon realized the lack of good level competitive opportunities in his home country, both for juniors and for adults.
In 2017, Barry created The Progress Tour, a series of UTR-powered tournaments throughout the UK. He consulted with Sarah Borwell of TennisSmart to work out the details of his tour including sponsors who would help fund the prize money he wanted to offer.
In addition to playing matches, participants (and their parents) in The Progress Tour have the opportunity to learn from experts in various aspects of tennis including college recruiting, coaching, and the mental game.
The thing that jumped out at me during my conversation with Barry was the similarities of Tennis Parents and our concerns regardless of whether we're in the US, the UK, or anywhere else around the world. It helps keeps thing in perspective, I think, when we learn that other countries face the same tennis challenges as we do here in the States.
This year, Barry celebrates 10 years of being cancer-free (after being diagnosed shortly after his wedding) and has decided to organize a tennis event to raise money for the Sussex Cancer Fund and The Cancer Research UK. He calls the Davis-Cup-like event British Tennis vs. The Big C, so please check it out at the link below.