Middx Tennis Awards 2020
March 10, 2021
PRESS RELEASE *Middlesex Awards Evening
We held our first (and hopefully only) Virtual Awards Evening on Thursday 4th March via Zoom with over 150 viewers tuning in live.
The award winners showcased hard work, innovation and resilience during a tough year with COVID-19 wrecking the many plans we originally had. Despite this tennis was able to carry on with 372% increase in tennis participation between May and June 2020 when Lockdown restrictions lifted with everyone taking to the court to Play Your Way.
All the award winners should be very proud of their achievements and recognise this has not gone unnoticed by Middlesex Tennis or our LTA colleagues.
Middlesex Tennis Development Officer, John Love said
We hope our award winners will look upon their success as a springboard to even bigger and better things going forwards.
Our award winners represented all aspects of tennis taking place within Middlesex from grassroots to performance tennis.
Our Lifetime Achievement Award went to David Watts who has been involved in tennis for over 30 years in roles from men's captain at his local tennis club to Middlesex Management Board and LTA Councillor with supporting Junior development always at the heart of his roles. Our youngest award recipient, Lola-Juliet Omran for Young Person of the Year is starting her journey into the tennis world. Taking a positive outlook on challenges such as a broken collar-bone, the lockdown and home schooling, Lola has excelled and given back to inspire and help younger players.
- Emma Harverson Volunteer of the Year
- Alan Warman Official of the Year
- Teddington LTC Club of the Year
- Will to Win, Community and Parks Award
- Shola Roper, Performance Coach of the Year
who all adapted through the various restrictions, kept it positive and made the best of the situations they had been dealt over the past year. They supported their tennis club, local community and players to make it through and stay in tennis.
Our Development Coach of the Year went to Mark Bullock who was one of the first coaches to move to an online platform delivering weekly sessions for Wheelchair tennis players with Choice International, Visually Impaired Players and Metro Blind Sports as well as individual online lessons with Lily Mills, Special Olympics Double Gold medallist. His aim was to keep players active and keep tennis relevant to them, adapting his practices to what is best for players.
The Queens Club Foundation won the Disability Award for 2020. With many disable people experiencing isolation and in desperate need of interaction, the foundation were responsive and shown a willingness to fund creative projects in 2020 to address this. Three key projects delivered were:
1.Choice International return to wheelchair tennis camp held at Lee Valley Hockey and Tennis Centre on 23 August.
2. Barons Court Project pop up tennis in Hammersmith for the homeless and people with complex mental health conditions.
3. Metro Blind Sports tennis sessions at Islington Tennis Centre for blind and partially sighted players.
The Fred Perry Championships, our 2020 Competition of the Year, worked hard to deliver a professional tournament for the best junior players in the country including live-streaming of finals matches. An experience players are unlikely to forget.
Starting in 2017, the Middlesex Performance Awards recognise our County Cup Teams, Captains and Individual Players.
The 18U County Cup kicked off 2020 with the Boys earning their promotion into Division 1 and 18U girls launching a comeback after Day 1 loss to reclaim back to back National Titles. This feat earnt the 18U Girls Team to be recognised as Middlesex Team of the Year.
Led by Ronnie Maxwell who was recognised as Middlesex County Cup Captain of the Year for his achievements of keeping 18U Girls for 10 consecutive years. Ronnie ensures players step onto court calm, confident and ready to give their best to represent the county.
On accepting the Award, Ronnie said
"I am very fortunate and find it a real privilege to captain the side... And I see it as a honour every year.
What's great about the county.. this county Middlesex has shown right through the years, that diversity of all the coaches and everything in this county and also the cohesion of it"
We closed off the evening with our 2020 Player of the Year, Sophie Bekker. Sophie had an outstanding 2020 with National and International Successes including being part of the GB 12U Girls Team winning the European Winter Cup.
It has been brilliant to see so many players, coaches, volunteers dedicated to improving tennis within the County. And we look forward to being back on court later this month and what we can achieve over the next year.
The Awards Evening was brilliant, best thing I’ve been to organised on zoom. It was a shame it had to be done in that way, but ran very smoothly. It was very motivating to meet the other Award winners and hear their inspirational stories.
Congratulations to everyone involved!
Jessica Oldham, The Queens Club Foundation
Written by Sangeeta