Awards Galore – An Amazing Evening of Yorkshire Pride

A celebration evening of Yorkshire’s finest tennis players and volunteers was held on Monday 10th December at Holiday Inn, Garforth.  Yorkshire Tennis was very fortunate to have the LTA’s Deputy President, David Rawlinson, in attendance who presented the awards with Chris Day, YT’s President. This special evening takes many months of hard work to organise and set up and many thanks go to Liz Wilson, Awards Committee Chairman, and her team of Jess Redfearn, Alison Steel, Adrian Waite and Martin Gilmour.

“I would like to congratulate all the team who put on the Yorkshire Tennis Awards and AGM on Monday evening. An immense amount of effort and attention to detail is behind the excellent staging of the event and it was great so see so many winners attending picking up their cups and awards”. I would like to congratulate all the winners as there were some outstanding performances on and off the court.” John Crowther, Yorkshire Tennis Chainman.

The first half of the Awards evening consisted of the presentation of the large number of awards which were earned by Yorkshire players during the year at the various tournaments, leagues and national cup competitions.  Although trophies are usually presented at the end of tournaments it is always a great honour to have them re-presented in front of a much larger audience of players, officials, parents and other friends and family members.  All of the tournament, league and competition award winners are shown in the Photo Gallery.

The second half of the evening is the surprise element – announcement of the Yorkshire winners of the 10 categories of 2018 British Tennis Awards.  Nominations were submitted by clubs and other venues over a number of weeks in the autumn to recognise the great work undertaken by volunteers from across Yorkshire.  The British Tennis (Yorkshire) ran by Adrian Waite, then had to sift through the vast number of often outstanding citations and decide on the shortlist and winner of each category.  Yorkshire winners of each category proceed to the Regional Finals and the Regionals finalists then go through to the National Finals which are presented during the Wimbledon Championships.

2017 was a superb year for Yorkshire Tennis in the British Tennis Awards as four of the ten Yorkshire Award winners were finalists at the National Awards and Yorkshire went on to win two awards Official of the Year, won by Robert Balmforth and Club of the Year, won by Skipton Tennis Centre.   Find out more about Robert and Skipton Tennis Centre in the October 2018 edition of Tramlines, YT’s own newsletter.  This can be found on the Yorkshire Tennis Website

2018 Yorkshire winners in the British Tennis Awards are:

Volunteer of the Year – Jessica Redfearn from Fulwood TC and South Yorkshire LTA

Jess’s work extends across Yorkshire Tennis and as a major player in the organisation of the Awards Evening this nomination had to be kept completely secret.  This posed some challenge for the other organisers but the fact that Jess had absolutely no idea was a major achievement!

Jess is actively involved in her club but her work for the local district tennis association earned her the nomination – she’s developed a new website, taken responsibility for social media, re-created district mini-tennis leagues and organised the Sheffield and District Awards evening attended by over 200 people.

Young Person of the Year – Olivia Boag from Whitkirk Tennis Club

Olivia was described in her nomination as a credit to herself, her parents, her coach and club.  She’s trained as a Young Tennis Leader and supports her club coach in weekly sessions with up to 60 juniors; she also supports the coach with holiday camps.  Olivia is an active member of the club as she plays in competitions, junior and senior club teams and supports social events.

Official of the Year – Dave Kitchen

Dave’s innovative approach to tournament organisation delivered outstanding results in 2018. As a referee he oversaw a 27% increase in participation in the Yorkshire County Championships, received 100% ratings from players and parents in three Yorkshire Grade 3 events and has officiated across a wide range of events from juniors to county cups with a sense of humour and all superbly organised and controlled.

Club of the Year – Barnsley Tennis Club

Barnsley has transformed itself in the last 12 months from a tired four court club with two floodlit courts to a new seven court club with five floodlit courts.  The club has invested £85k of its own money alongside Advantage Yorkshire and LTA funding and local council investment.

Improvements have resulted in a 20% increase in membership, including a 30% increase in juniors, the addition of five new club teams, an increase in coaching delivery by 167% and ensured the links in the community have provided expanded opportunities for new players to experience the game.

Community Award – Graves Health and Sports Club

Graves has had an impressive year with numerous initiatives developed across all areas of focus in British Tennis.  They have initiated an Adult Cardiac Rehabilitation Mini Tennis Programme with 18 weekly participants recovering from heart surgery and chronic heart conditions; attracted 437 participants to Great British Tennis Weekends and achieved 16% conversion into regular tennis players on coaching programmes; run both Learning Disability and Wheelchair tennis coaching sessions with 24 participants weekly; and 70% of Tennis for Kids participants have converted on to the weekly coaching programme.

Education Award – York St John University

York St John University offers extensive coaching for both competitive and social student teams as well as taster sessions to encourage new players; encourages students to take on coaching roles during training sessions to analyse other players, giving feedback and practising leadership; the facility has several club and school partnerships and offers an all year round coaching programme for juniors of all ages and abilities; and a full range of LTA programmes are offered to encourage inclusive adult participation at all levels.

Disability Award – South Yorkshire Open Court Programme

The winners of this award are a collection of key partners who work collaboratively to provide more opportunities for people with disabilities to play tennis.  Over the last year the programme has developed outside of traditional tennis facilities resulting in an additional 104 monthly participants exhibiting real improvements in physical and mental wellbeing; there is a clear pathway into club and facility tennis; investment has been made into the organisations providing the participants; and the project plan will be rolled out to benefit other parts of Yorkshire in 2019.

Competition of the Year – Yorkshire County Championships

428 players took part in 2018 an increase of 27% compared with 2017 and up by 120% compared with five years ago. Qualifying events were expanded in 2018 across the County which resulted in an extra 100 participants; innovative scheduling was also introduced enabling players to take part in multiple singles and doubles events; a co-ordinated group of officials provided superb organisation on each day; all of which resulted in a festival of tennis with a great atmosphere.

Coach of the Year – Sam Salt from Graves Health and Sports Club

The standard of entry for this year’s award was very high and there were three stand out nominees but only one winner is allowed.  The panel therefore decided to present two highly commended awards to Rob Ratcliffe of Horsforth Tennis Club and Adam Cox of Skipton Tennis Centre.

However, Sam Salt was the Coach of the Year award winner.  Sam has multiple achievements over the last year and the following represent the highlights.  Sam has grown the weekly coaching programme at the club by 127 participants in 2018 to 604.  Two years ago there were 169 players; the number of regularly competing juniors has increased from 7 to 42 with 790 total competitors; the Local Player Development Centre Programme has grown and there are 67 players on the high performance pathway in the first three months; and Sam has coached individuals, club and county teams to honours in 2018.

Lifetime Achievement – Margaret Whitehead from York Tennis Club

Margaret Whitehead has made a contribution to York Tennis Club and the tennis community in York for 50 years.  She is Chairperson of York Tennis Club, a level 4 coach of 30 years standing, a school sports teacher and sits on various tennis committees in the city.

Margaret has been instrumental in helping to develop the facilities at York Tennis Club and has moved the club forward since taking over as Chairperson.  Her influence extends from junior to adult tennis with the aim of being welcoming and inclusive.

As a player she has played in Yorkshire League Division One for 35 years and has won over 36 club titles at York Tennis Club.  She represented Great Britain on several occasions as a former Civil Service and British Telecom National Champion.

Her nomination stated “her coaching is never repetitive or mundane, her enthusiasm never reduced”.  Margaret’s passion, talent and commitment is to The Game of Tennis.

All of the Award winners now go through to the Regional Finals and await the outcome with much excitement.  They all know that becoming a Regional Finalist ensures a presence at the National Finals during Wimbledon 2019.  Yorkshire Tennis wishes all the Yorkshire British Tennis Award winners much luck but whatever the outcome their contributions ensure tennis in Yorkshire has a bright future.

2018 Yorkshire County Championships

Boys 10U Louis Hull
Girls 10U Loretta Armane
Boys 12U Owen Lodge
Girls 12U Sarah Copley
Boys 14U Michael McDougall
Girls 14U Gabriella Lindley
Boys 16U Adam Hillerby
Girls 16U Gabriella Lindley
Boys 18U Thomas Smart
Girls 18U Jayanne Palma
Men’s Champion Euan Wilson-Baig
Ladies’ Champion Eleanor Dean

2018 Yorkshire Doubles League Winners

Men Division 1 Ilkley
Men Division 2a Roundhay B
Men Division 2b Huddersfield A
Ladies Division 1 Huddersfield A
Ladies Division 2 Rawdon B
Ladies Division 3 Heaton A

2018 Yorkshire Tennis Awards

Ladies’ Winter County Cup Sofie Woon
Men’s Winter County Cup Luke Johnson
Ladies’ Summer County Cup Olivia Noble & Eleanor Dean
Men’s Summer County Cup Elliot Chang
Boy’s Best Performance 18U County Cup Joshua Lazenby
Boy’s Most Improved Player Joseph Newman-Billington
Girl’s Most Improved Player Jessica Dawson

2018 Team Awards

Ladies’ Summer County Cup Team promoted to Div 1
Boys U18 County Cup Team promoted to Div 1
Girls U18 County Cup Team promoted to Div 1
Men’s O60’s Team promoted to Div 1
Men’s O65’s Team promoted to Div 1

2018 Yorkshire County Colours

Men’s Senior Andrew Atkinson
Men’s Vets O65’s Andrew Potter
Women’s Vets O40’s Jill Le Pla
Junior Girls Chloe Chawner
Junior Boys Jack Joel
Barney Fitzpatrick
Ying Hou
Joshua Lazenby