Cheshire tennis coach, Stuart Murray, enjoyed lunch with Martin Corrie, the President of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) at Wimbledon last week. Stuart, Head Coach at Alderley Edge Tennis Club was invited to the Championships after winning the accolade of LTA North Coach of the Year in 2016. Stuart and his wife Aisling joined his fellow regional award winners at the celebratory lunch before enjoying tennis in the sun on Centre Court.
‘The President’s suite is located off Court 1 and looks out over the practice courts. It really was a side of Wimbledon I don’t normally get to see!’ said Stuart.
Canapes and champagne on arrival were followed with lunch before Stuart took to his seat in Centre Court to watch Andy Murray’s straight sets victory over Germany’s Dustin Brown. Afternoon tea and Pimms in the sun topped off a great week for the hardworking coach: ‘I went down to London on the Sunday for the LTA National Coaches Conference and then used my coaches’ pass to watch some tennis on Monday and Tuesday before the presidents lunch on Day 3 of the Championships. We were really spoilt and looked after’ said Stuart.
Stuart won the North Coach of the Year award after reversing the fortunes of the tennis programme at Alderley Edge Tennis Club. When Stuart joined the club 2 years ago there was very little in the way of junior coaching. Under his lead, the club has seen a 5 fold increase in numbers of kids on the programme. Dating back to 1870, Alderley Edge Tennis Club boasts 14 outdoor courts including 5 grass courts. A lack of indoor facilities at the club meant that Stuart had to get creative, coaching on the club’s squash courts and hiring the local scout hut to keep youngsters playing throughout the winter months.
‘I was so pleased to win the award. The last 2 years have been a really busy time for me – increasing participation is hard work so it was fantastic to be recognised by the LTA. It just backed up everything I was doing and confirmed that we are on the right track at Alderley Edge’ said Stuart.
The Aegon British Tennis Awards were launched in 2015 with the aim of recognising the work of those who support the grassroots game. The 2016 awards collected over 1,100 nominations and winners were announced at county and regional level before Jonny Willcox of Rutherglen Tennis Club in Glasgow was named Aegon Coach of the Year 2016.
For more information about coaching with Stuart at Alderley Edge, visit the club’s website: www.aecc.org.uk/tennis. More information about the work of British Tennis can be found here: www.lta.org.uk.