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Middx Tennis Awards 2019

March 10, 2021

Middlesex Awards Evening 2019 -
Regrettably due to the COVID crisis we made a tough decision to were unable to recognise our award winners in person. This does not take away from the achievements of our outstanding award winners.

We recognised the people, clubs and organisations who have made your year in tennis outstanding.

Middlesex Tennis had an outstanding year in 2019 and below we recognise our award winners across our 3 categories: LTA Awards, Competition and Performance.

The LTA Awards were introduced 5-years ago by Cathy Sabin the then LTA President as a way recognising & rewarding individuals, clubs, and organisations for their contribution to the development of British Tennis. During October & November each year the tennis community are encouraged to put forward any unsung hero as part of a well-organised nomination process. In 2019 over 2,000 nominations were submitted nationally, the job then fell to the Middlesex Awards Panel to select the Middlesex County winners from the excellent nominations put forward.

The 2019 Middlesex LTA winners were as follows;

Education Award: Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls

This Award went to a girl’s secondary comprehensive school in the London borough of Ealing. It is a diverse multi-cultural school with students and staff from a range of different backgrounds, faiths, and cultures. Last year the school provided tennis as part of the curriculum for all KS3 and KS4 students, and 100% of the students from years 7 to 11 took part. The school also had well attended breakfast clubs, lunchtime clubs and after school cardio tennis clubs on offer. The school’s commitment to integrate tennis into everyday school life has provided numerous opportunities for students to develop their leadership and teamwork skills through active tennis sessions and leadership programmes. Additionally, they have worked with the local school sports partnership to provide sports leaders for primary school tennis events and the London Youth Games tennis competitions. In 2019 the school organised a trip to the Wimbledon Championships, which provided a fantastic opportunity for students to see the highest level of the game, which was both exciting and inspiring.

Disability Award: Get Set 4 Tennis

The recipient of the Middlesex LTA Disability Award for 2019 received many nominations from players and parents who were extremely grateful and supportive of pleasure that tennis brings to their children. The Club has over 800 children on their programme which operates before and after school and at the weekend. The club has programmes at several different SEN schools including nurseries and follow-on schools and are constantly adding more schools to their programme – 5 new schools are planned with Middlesex Tennis funding in 2020. Some quotes from the teachers are

“Children are so excited to go to tennis”.
“Children are so proud of themselves after tennis lessons, they have a sense of achievement which leads to a really happy mood in class afterwards.”
“The coaches are so supportive, the children come back to class so positive and enthused.”
”Pupils who doesn’t normally join in PE always join in with tennis”

and 1 of the many quotes from a parent is;

“I have seen the work they do with disabled children and it is amazing. Everyone is included no matter what age or ability, and all are made to feel valued and welcome”.

Alongside the great outreach work they do in local schools the club also run parent/child’s sessions which is a great way of bonding family relationships. The programme has gone from strength to strength in 2019 thanks to the dedication and commitment of the lead coaches Lisa & Jonathan Wildman.

Community & Parks Award: Local Tennis Leagues

This well-known community tennis provider began life 15 years ago when journalist Sally Kinnes, looking for a way to improve her own tennis, set up a singles league in her local park, Highbury Fields in north London. It took off immediately and with her partner Nigel Billen, then editor of ACE Tennis magazine, she decided to see if it would work elsewhere. In the years that followed, new league followed new league, all championing the then often neglected tennis played in public parks and offering everyday players the chance to play what the couple dubbed “friendly, competitive tennis.” Local Tennis Leagues soon became a national movement with leagues up and down the country with the key to its success being the partnerships forged with local parks and local tennis organisations. Together they created a genuine grassroots movement that has helped give more and more people access to competitive tennis. Now Local Tennis Leagues has around 180 leagues nationally and over 100 in London and the South East. Each year around 8,000 players play in their leagues and overall, 20,000 people have played in the leagues at one time or another.

Competition Award: Middlesex County Closed

This annual competition County Closed Championships is a deserved winner of the Middlesex LTA Competition Award due to the new and fresh approach that it adopted in 2019. As part of this event Middlesex and Surrey worked in partnership to offer inclusive competition to players with Learning Disability, Visually Impairment, hearing impairment and Wheelchair tennis, with 3 different venues being used across the 2 counties. These disability elements were introduced and co-ordinated by Mark Bullock from Middlesex and Tim Sagar from Surrey who made the first year of this joint venture a great success and something that is sure to be repeated in future years. Alongside the inclusive elements introduced to this event Padel Tennis was also available as a distraction from the on-court activities. This was a big hit with lots of first-time players have a fun and enable session. Organisation and delivery of the event was great thanks to the hard work of Brenda Stewart and Sangeeta Arora who put in long hours throughout the week which was very much enjoyed and appreciated by the players and parents alike.

Middlesex LTA Official of the Year: Maureen McGuiness

The recipient of this award has had an outstanding year of officiating in 2019. In July she passed a five-day ITF Level 2 School to gain her ITF White Badge as a Chair Umpire. Alongside this she achieved several firsts in 2019:

  • She made her Fed Cup debut as a line umpire for the GB vs Kazakhstan tie at the Copper Box in April
  • She made her Davis Cup debut in Norway in September which was her first selection to officiate overseas
  • She chaired a match during the Fever Tree Championships at The Queen's Club for the first time in the junior international event
  • She umpired at 7 x ITF Pro-Series events

In total she worked over 40 umpiring days last year ranging from grass roots level to the highest level of the professional game. Last year she was one of the best performing line umpires which culminated in her selection as part of the line umpire team for the Wimbledon Men’s singles final between Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer where she performed exceptionally well in this incredibly high-pressure situation.

As an official she is always very well prepared and performs with great intelligence, fairness and professionalism. She is a great credit and a major asset to British officiating.

Volunteer of the Year Award: Linda Almond

The Volunteer of the Year Award went to someone who has initiated and established a successful disability tennis programme at her club, and in partnership with Metro Blind Sports developed an outreach programme run by volunteers for totally blind players at Islington Tennis Centre. She has a regular flow of players with Down's syndrome attend her DS Active tennis sessions at Highgate Tennis Club and she heads up a team of adult & young leaders to support the delivery of a visually impaired session at Islington Tennis Centre. Diversity & inclusion is central to her philosophy with safeguarding as apriority. Linda brings her successful business knowledge into the tennis world with strong leadership and organisational skills. She is passionate about disability tennis.

Young Person of the Year Award: Tom Roberts

Our Young Person of the Year is a shining example of the great work that our Volunteer of the Year award winner is doing in developing young people. He is a volunteer at the regular visually impaired tennis sessions established by Linda Almond at Islington Tennis Centre. Our winner started helping with this session in2017 as part of his Bronze Duke of Edinburgh award and in 2019 he did his Silver Duke of Edinburgh award which this volunteering formed part of. As an experienced volunteer he is now able to guide partially sighted players on his own from the nearby tube station, he is also a role model for other young people displaying excellent skills in how to guide and communicate with blind players.

One of the blind players explains what it means to have volunteers like our Young Volunteer of the Year helping:

I would like to thank you and the wonderful team of volunteers from the bottom of my heart. It is amazing to see how selfless you all are and what an immaculate job you always do! I know that words cannot do enough to express my gratitude and I hope that you will be able to sense how much affection I feel towards all of you for making our lives more enjoyable and for giving us a chance to play sports without any worries. A million thank you once again.
Tom is a real trailblazer. He has encouraged new students to help and there have been 31 new young volunteers since he started. He deserves special recognition achievements and is a very worthy recipient of the award.
Club of the Year Award: Eastcote LTC

The Middlesex LTA Club of the Year had a very successful 2019. They had 30 teams competing in Middlesex leagues from U10s through to Vets. They have a proven pathway for junior players with 15 juniors participating in and strengthening the adult teams. Additionally, 4 'ex-juniors’ gained 1st team places in their University teams. Their junior coaching programme grew in 2019 to become one of the largest locally and, together with their partnership with local schools and the London Borough of Hillingdon and Harrow the club provides tennis to over 450 children per week throughout the year. Together with Hillingdon Council, the club have run Tennis for Free sessions in the local park offering local people the chance to sample tennis and give them a pathway to continue playing. In the first 3 weeks of this programme they had almost 100 players engaging in tennis. In October 2019, the club suffered a second devastating flood that threatened to damage all six of their courts irreparably. Unable to obtain insurance and faced with the real possibility of closure, the Club launched an immediate and determined clean-up effort. Coach-led and involving members and their families, volunteers worked tirelessly into the night. It was a monumental team effort reflecting the tremendous Club spirit. Within three days, three courts were playable and within a week all six were operational again. They had effectively saved the Club and can now plan for their future and continue to offer tennis across the community.

Coach of the Year Award: Christian Gallan

Our Middlesex Coach of the Year received tremendous support from the players and parents that he coaches. Here are just a couple of quotes about him from the nominations received.

“What makes him so special is the absolute dedication and the time he spends on literally everyone - he knows every single player in the club and it would not be an exaggeration to say that he is the heart of Hartswood.”
"His boundless positivity is infectious and is a great contribution to the atmosphere at the club. His eagerness to get involved in the running of the club is invaluable. We are very lucky to have him at our club”

He has transformed junior coaching at Hartswood, with significant growth in junior sessions. He actively encourages juniors to engage in competitive play in a positive way with many junior teams enter in county leagues. He inspires a real love of the game with the younger members of the club. Before he joined the club, adult coaching was limited. It has now become a key part of the overall offering at the club - from group sessions to one-to-one coaching. He has voluntarily committed to supporting several charities using tennis sessions and tournaments to raise much needed money.

In 2019 his raised £1,500 to provide free meal for the homeless in Shepherds Bush and alongside collecting unwanted racquets and clothes to be sent out to Malawi heal so raised £2,000 allowing them to purchase a much-needed van. Additionally, each year he organises a collection of clothes and toys to be donated to Shepherd’s Bush Families Project for local people in need over the Christmas period.

Lifetime Achievement Award: Brenda Stewart

The recipient of our Lifetime Achievement Award is the cornerstone of competition in Middlesex. What she does not know about competition is not worth knowing.

Over the past 30-year she has run over 300 week-long tournaments including many LTA National and Regional events and, of course, our annual Middlesex County Closed event. Additionally, she has been an active member of the Middlesex Tennis Management Board. Alongside her competition duties she is the driving force behind Our Lady of Muswell Tennis Club where she began playing tennis when she started as a student teacher in London. Over the next 40years her name appeared on the Club Championship board 25 times. She has been on the Middlesex Tennis Management Board for the past 30-years and during this time her knowledge and experience in the area of competition has been invaluable. She always applies a methodically and rules-based approach to situations ensuring that outcomes are fair an unquestionable. She takes a leading role in the management of the Middlesex Tennis Summer League which is one of the biggest leagues in the country with 630 teams competing. This is all done despite her ageing years, demonstrating that she is a true silver surfer.

Competition Awards

Competition is the basis of all sports and in Middlesex we provide competition for players of all levels. We recognise firstly our Road to Wimbledon County Winners.

The Road to Wimbledon Competition is very exciting and you can read more about it by clicking here. Our County Winners won the opportunity to play at the All England Club in a weeklong tournament on the grass courts in August. Getting through the draws of 17 girls and 24 boys.

Well Done to Min Mahmut (Girls Winner) and Dennis Dimov (Boys Winner).

Our County Championships is one of Middlesex's most prestigious events, currently held at Hazelwood Sports Club and Vicars Moor LTC at the end of the Summer Season. We had some outstanding performances and very competitive draws across all age groups. Here we recognise our 18U Champions:

Ruby Hart (Girls) Ruby aged 14 played very consistently throughout the week to win the 18U event and come runner Up in the Open Ladies. She has since gone on to represent Middlesex in the Ladies Winter County Cup Team and 18U Girls team.

William Mclennaghan (Boys) William, again was very consistent throughout and produced some big wins to win both 18U Boys and Men's Title.

Middlesex Summer League is one of the biggest in the County with 600+teams and over 6000 players competing on a regular basis at a relevant level. Our Premier Divisions feature current and ex-professional players and is very hotly contested. The Play-Offs between East and West Premier Champions was reintroduced in 2015.Ladies Champions: Campden Hill

In the Ladies Finals, Campden Hill re-captured their title from Cumberland in the4th title play off between the two clubs. Men's Champions The Queens Club In a rain delayed match, The Queens Club came through against Cumberland 13-11 at the indoor courts of The Queens Club, in December. The Middlesex Cup is the County's Knockout Competition featuring Club's best players. In 2019 we recognise the winners of Division 1 Mixed Winter 2018-19 Cup -The Queens Club And after swapping the Mixed event into the Summer, our Summer Cup 2019Winners:Campden Hill

Performance Awards

We had great success in 2019 through inspiring performances from all our County Cup Teams. This culminated in Middlesex winning the County Cup Race for the very first time. All Players and Captains are to be recognised with a memento.

Middlesex Team of the Year: 18U Girls

Our 18U Middlesex Girls were competing in Bath, Division 1 for the 8th year in a row, claiming the national title in 2012 and 2016 respectively. The team led by Ronnie Maxwell and Louise Hutchinson, with a very young team with 4 players stepping up from the 2018 14U girls team. Win V Yorkshire 5-4Win V Hertfordshire 6-3Win V Kent 5-2 Crowning the 18U Team National Champions for the 3rd time.

Hot NEWS – Middlesex 2020 Team wins 4th National Title and ensures Middlesex have 10 Years in Group 1.

Middlesex County Cup Captain of the Year: Frances Brewester

Fran had an outstanding year Open Ladies captain Fran led the Summer Ladies team to finish 3rd in Division 1 and Winter Ladies Team to finish 2nd in Division 1. As Ladies 35s captain, Fran led her team to become National Champions. Her successes on the court, led Fran to be selected for England in the Four Nations Team and went onto captain and represent Great Britain at the World Tennis Championships in Miami for the Over 40s team. Great Britain won their group and lost to Italy in the knockouts.•

Middlesex Player of the Year: Andy Lapthorne

Andy had a stand out year in 2019 with the highlights being winning the quad wheelchair tennis event at the US Open and making the final at the inaugural quad singles event at Wimbledon. On the doubles court he won both the Wimbledon and US Open titles. These results contributed to him topping the ITF quad ranking in January 2020.•

LTA Senior Player of the Year: Lenny Lawrence

Lennie wins this award for having captained GB's men’s over 85s in the ITF Super Seniors World Team Championships, bringing home a bronze medal for his country. He was the winner of the Seniors British Grass Courts 85s Singles at Wimbledon and has captained the British team for many years. Having not taken up tennis until the age of 35, Lennie is without doubt an inspiration to all players at all ages.

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