Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Northamptonshire as a county boasts hundreds of inspirational, qualified, active female coaches but this number is still vastly disproportionate to the number of coaches in total currently leading sport in the county.

As part of our #NorthantsGirlsCanCoach campaign, and today in celebration of the launch of our Female Priority Coach Scholarship every week we are releasing profiles of female Northamptonshire Coaches to inspire other women to get involved!!

Week 8 - Maddee Blair!

This weeks' coach profile has been put forward from Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) Development Officer - Nina Bridge:

Maddee Blair, Community Parks Coordinator for Parks Tennis Northampton, has had an exceptional year with regards to her personal development!

Two years ago Maddee contacted Northamptonshire Sport expressing her interest in getting involved with disability tennis in Northampton. At the time there was no disability tennis activity in the area but when the Tennis Foundation and LTA started discussing the development of a disability tennis network with the County Sports Partnership, the Northamptonshire Sport Disability Officer remembered Maddee and suggested we get in touch with her.

Maddee had a small amount of coaching experience but had the passion in disability tennis to help us get some activity going. She was working full time in retail and needed to develop her coaching qualifications before stepping into coaching full time.

In 2015 Maddee completed her Level 1 Coaching qualification and started working with the Tennis Foundation, LTA and Northamptonshire Sport to develop plans to establish some disability tennis activity in Northants. In quick succession, Maddee then completed her Level 2 Coaching qualification and started delivering taster sessions to various organisations in the area.

At the end of 2015, Maddee was offered a full time coaching position with Parks Tennis Northampton and was accepted onto a Level 3 apprenticeship with the LTA. Maddee has been lucky enough to be mentored by ex-professional James Aukland, whose career highs include; ATP singles rank 279, ATP doubles rank 57; Davis Cup squad; Former British No. 1 Doubles Player; last 16 Wimbledon Men's Doubles. James is now Director of Tennis for Parks Tennis.

Maddee has grown from a very shy volunteer, with a passion for disability tennis, into a full time aspiring Level 3 coach as her confidence and ability grows by the day.

Definitely an inspiration to other coaches as an illustration of what can be achieved in a relatively short amount of time if you put your mind to it!

Northamptonshire Sport launched Northants Girls Can Coach at the beginning of January 2016 to encourage and support more women into coaching. If you would like to get involved, please see our Northants Girls Can Coach pages.

Support will include:

  • 'Come Into Coaching session that took place on 27th January 2016. This workshop wasoffered free of charge for all aspiring female coaches and any women and girls that would like to learn a little more about what being a sports coach is all about.
  • Female themed Coach Scholarship round in February (NOW OPEN!!) and a
  • Female Coaching Forum on 24th May 2016 offering a networking and training opportunity to female coaches across the county regardless of current level or experience.

From this Northamptonshire Sport will look to establish a network of female coaches in the county, providing ongoing support via an online platform and annual meetings.

This programme will look to inspire and enthuse women from all backgrounds, whether they have thought about coaching in the past or not. It is just one of the ways Northamptonshire Sport are trying to break down the current barriers to more women becoming sports coaches.

For more information, please click here:

Or contact Coach Development Officer, Lucy Alexander



LTA East Region
Hills Road Sports & Tennis Centre
Purbeck Road
Cambridge CB2 8PF
01223 210111