2015 Notts LTA Awards evening sponsored by Slazenger

Monday, March 07, 2016
2015 Notts LTA Awards evening sponsored by Slazenger

You can see photos of all the awards winners here.

The 10th Notts LTA Awards Night sponsored by Slazenger was held at Notts County Football ground on Friday 26th February.

The event, attended by 200, was hosted by Rick Britton, the Lawn Tennis Association Councillor for Nottinghamshire

Rick introduced Christopher Walker, Chairman of Notts LTA who presented the Awards.

The event was sponsored by Slazenger and their representative, Chris Phillips, provided prizes for those attending – 2 racquets and 2 sports bags.

Julie Whiting of Welbeck was the lucky winner of a bottle of champagne drawn on the night

Christopher entertained the audience with a review of 2015 and then presented the medals to the 2015 AEGON Mini Tennis Team winners

Mini Tennis Red winners-The Tennis Centre -  led by Dave Everington – the team was Jack swain, Evie May Barry and Sophie Lager

Orange Div 1 – WBTC led by Gareth Billingham the team comprised his son Charlie Billingham, Aaliyah Connolly, Johnny Lees, Marcus Smart and Luca Vergari

Orange Div 2 – Collingham TC   The team was led by Chris McGill and comprised Freddie Booth, Tiger Chin, Elliott Paley and William Eddy

Green winners – Nottingham Tennis Centre – led by Dave Everington – the team comprised James Hilton, Morgan Jones, Olivia Corfe , Jessica Spencer, Millie Wileman and Phoenix Weir

After an excellent buffet, the presentation of the Annual Notts Lawn Tennis Association Awards was made by Christopher Walker.

The first award was for Most Improved Junior Girl and the runner up was JESSICA SPENCER who has played at Regional and National Green Ball level and has made steady progress into full ball. She is currently rated 8.1 and 2015 saw wins in Grade 3 and Grade 4 events as well as in Team events and David Lloyd Nationals. Happy, positive and very capable.

The Winner of the Notts LTA MOST IMPROVED JUNIOR GIRL Award 2015 was MIA WAINWRIGHT.  Mia has shown determination and dedication and as a Red Ball player got her passport to play Orange Ball. She has won 3 Grade 3 events as well as competing with some satisfaction in Grade 2s – all of this and a year young and top of the next level up ending the year as an Orange 1*

The next Award was for the Most Improved Junior Boy and the Runner up was DANIEL BLACKBURN.  Daniel narrowly missed out on a ‘double jump’ in ratings. His rating a year ago was 5.1 and is now 4.1. Daniel won the Notts County Closed U16 Singles, and the U18 Doubles and reached the finals of the U18 Singles. He was runner up in the West Bridgford U16s Open as well as runner up in the Boston U16s

The winner of the Notts LTA Most Improved Junior Boy 2015 was DANIEL WRIGHT.   Daniel started the year as a Green 1* and fired up went on to win the David Lloyd U10s National final – which was rewarded by an Andre Agassi masterclass. He has won regional events in Hull, Cambridge and the Wirral and has left mini tennis behind and attends the My Tennis Academy at the Tennis Centre.

The next Award was for the Best Domestic Individual Performance

And the runner up was LIANA SHARRATT-BLANKSBY.  Liana’s list or achievements  for 2015 is long – with wins in Doncaster, Letchworth, twice in Hull and runner up in Dolamore, Tennis World and Hills Road but it is for her double wins in Manchester especially the Grade 2 National Event that Liana takes this runner up award

The winner of the Notts LTA Best Individual Domestic Performance 2015 was MILLIE-MAE MATTHEWS.   At 12 & Under, Millie is currently ranked Nationally No 9 and Regionally No 1 and County No 1. Winner of Wirral Grade 3, Runner up for her School in the National Finals, winner Grade 3 Hull, Main Draw Orange Bowl Florida, winner Grade 3 Nottingham, winner 12 & U and 14 & U at the County Closed as well as Girls 14 & U Doubles winner, winner Grade 3 Loughborough, winner Grade 2 Bath but this Award is given particularly for winning the Grade 2 Scottish Junior Open in July

The Best Individual International Performance Award 2015 was the presented next.   The Runner up was LUKE BAMBRIDGE who despite a tough start to the year when his ranking plummeted to the 800 level, reached a Doubles career high of 256 with an early Doubles win in Shrewsbury and made his Wimbledon senior Men’s Double debut losing to the eventual winners Murray & Peers. The autumn saw a turn in fortunes with a singles final in Turkey and a semi-final in Egypt. A trip to Doha saw Luke take his first singles tour title as well as runner up in another final making his year end ranking of 505 a great finish to 2015

The Winner of the Notts LTA Best Individual International Performance was ISABELLE TYRELL.  With a year-end ITF Seniors Singles ranking of No 4 in the world, Mixed No 4 and Doubles ranked No 9 – Izzy has had a remarkable year. She won the Singles titles in Hungary, Geneva, Don Carlos twice, Puento Romano and Murcia –also winning the Doubles titles at those events.

These results are even more remarkable when you consider that Izzy underwent major foot and shoulder surgery which put her out for 5 months!

Izzy was selected for the GB Over 40 team in the ITF World Championships. She and the team had wins over South Africa, Australia and Switzerland and Izzy won all her singles matches! In the final against the favourites, France, she beat the previously undefeated French No 1 securing the Gold Medal for Great Britain and it is for that win that Izzy richly deserves this award

Next up was the Coach of the Year Award. The runner up was SIMON ASHMORE. Simon is the head of junior tennis at David Lloyd Nottingham. He is also the coach at the Nottingham Academy Primary at Greenwood Road. With Simon’s encouragement he has increased participation at the school and seen numbers increase over half terms and the summer camps. It has been said that the children ‘cannot wait for the next lesson with Simon’. 

On top of normal coaching, Simon has given talks in school assemblies, promoted local tennis events as well as giving masterclass rewards and has taken children to David Lloyd for that ‘big club’ experience which have all encouraged pupils to join their local tennis clubs.

The Winner of the Notts LTA 2015 Coach of the Year Award was PETE GODBER.  Pete has been runner up before – but not this time!

Pete took on the role of 2015 Head Coach at Lady Bay tennis club in difficult circumstances, but at the end of the first six months he and his team had already made an enormous difference by introducing a new coaching programme for both development and performance players.  Junior membership of the club has increased, there are mini red, orange and green tournaments being run on a regular basis, and both adult and junior players who had joined the club and started coaching sessions as beginners or returning adults were playing in league matches.  His AEGON National men's team reached the national finals in Bournemouth in 2015. He is introducing a second AEGON men's team for 2016 and has also entered both boys and girls junior teams into the junior leagues.  He coaches several junior players at Lady Bay, including Millie Wileman who achieved success in the Notts County Closed tournament, winning the 10U Girls and reaching the finals of the 12U and Dan Blackburn who achieved success winning the 16U and a runner up in the 18U Boys Singles.  Pete has long been one of Notts most respected coaches.

Rick then announced the Volunteer of the Year Award.

Before announcing the winner Rick made special mention of Jackie Barnett for all the work she’s done at Welbeck Tennis Club – she is moving away and will sadly missed.

The runner-up was JACK O’DONNELL. 15 year old Jack has been going to Welbeck TC since he was 4 progressing from Minis to full ball. A couple of years ago Jack qualified as a Youth Leader and has been helping out on weekdays, Holiday Camps and open days. His plans for 2016 include becoming a Level 1 Coaching Assistant and continue playing for the Club Under 16 Team.

The Notts LTA Volunteer of the year was NIGEL AKERS.  Nigel has been the backbone of Wollaton Village TC filling in when vacancies arise on the Committee. He has devised and implemented a comprehensive Health & Safety system and revised the governance of the Club – but he’s not afraid of getting his hands dirty as general odd job man. All in all the perfect Club volunteer

Next came the battle for Team of the Year.

The runner up place went to Notts LTAs Men’s Winter County Cup Team.

The team achieved promotion after a hard fought 3 days in Sheffield with wins against Leics., Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.

The team members were

Luke Bambridge; Josh Ward-Hibbert; Marcus Walters; Abdul Hassan Eban Straker-Meads; Luke Smith;  Ben McTaggart; Phillip Peters; Dave Barton

and Callum Chivers.

Callum was the captain of the dream team and we wish them the best in Division 3 this year

And the Award for 2015 Team of the Year went to LADY BAY MEN’S 2ND TEAM.  Captained by Graeme Gunn the team have gained promotion from Division 5 to Division 1 in 4 consecutive seasons. 

The team is a very young side, some having started out at 11 and still in the side now they’re 16.

The Team was represented by: James Chester, Richard Clarke, Matthew day, Tom & Etienne Elliss, Fin Hooker, Taylor Hursthouse, Harry James, Sandy Robson, Ben Towle, William Trease, Alex & James Wood

The next award was for the Notts LTA School or College of the Year and the runner up was THE UNIVERSITY OF NOTTINGHAM.

From a low point of just a few tennis members the University now has 275 members and is ranked at the top of University participation in the country. There are now 8 competing teams as well as 2 development squads and an active club scene. From Mini to Cardio the whole tennis range is on offer together with some new initiatives – TEMP is the joint tennis monitoring programme with the Tennis Centre supporting student coaches and there is also a tennis scholarship scheme, an Engage programme for staff and community involvement with local schools

Well done the University of Nottingham and it’s tennis leader Matt Wildt

And the winner of the Notts LTA School of the Year went to FOREST TOWN PRIMARY.   Thankfully, Chris Lacey is still involved with the school ensuring that 80% of Key Stage 2 children take part in sport outside the curriculum and over half of those go on to represent the school in competitions.

Within the class timetable all children from years 1 to 6 complete a block of 6 weeks of tennis.

Last year we heard that the school had made a link with Mansfield TC – this continues with the school leading sessions at the clubs coaching and competition festival.

With a school trip to the AEGON Nottingham Open and players entering the Notts Junior Closed – where 2 got to the Mini Green Final – the school continues to go beyond the normal classroom experience

Finally the Award for Lifetime Achievement was made to 3 recipients:


DAWN is a founder member of Caunton TC and she was the driving force back in 1974 when funds were raised to put tennis courts in the village.

1976 saw courts at Caunton School and later a dedicated site with floodlit courts was built on Maplebeck Road. Dawn had her eye on the adjacent field and persuaded the committee into action resulting in 4 more floodlit courts and proper brick clubhouse.

Dawn has ensured the Club’s success with many coaching programmes making it particularly attractive to juniors.

This year sees the Club’s 40 year Ruby anniversary and no doubt Dawn will be leading the celebrations

Next CAROL,  CAROL has played tennis all her life and has been a member of Lady Bay TC for 60 years – 16 of which as Secretary. Carol went on to play at Junior Wimbledon in 1958 where she won the Girls and the Mixed Doubles narrowly missing out on the ‘treble’. Her partner in the Mixed was Tim Phillips who would later go on to become the Chairman of the All England Club. As a senior she played against the greats of that era – Althea Gibson, Little Mo Connolly, Angela Mortimer and Christine Truman.

Carol still supports the Club and always attends fundraising events contributing cakes and prizes as well as making financial donations. Carol is the perfect lifetime achiever and a huge asset to her Club.

At the same Club as Carol you will find MARGARET COBB the third lifetime achievement award winner. MARGARET has played tennis all her life and represented the County and her Club at all levels. Her tennis began at the Co-op Western Club and  she joined Lady Bay on its dissolution over 40 years ago.

As Chairman Margaret has helped raised funds for land purchase, new pavilion, court re-surfacing and latterly floodlights. Margaret project managed all these projects. Her Chairmanship of the club has been exemplary. She has also been the Notts LTA League Secretary for decades as well as the Ladies League Secretary.

Recognition of her achievements was made at the o2 Arena in 2012 when she received the LTA Midlands Region Volunteer of the Year Award.

Margaret continues to raise funds for the Club and her quizzes are famously testing. For the past few years Margaret has sold the Club’s old tennis balls on ebay – raising enough to put a coach into the local Primary School - fantastic

Lady Bay and the County are lucky to have Margaret as a volunteer

After the Awards, Rick presented County Colours to those players who have played for the county

Senior Colours are awarded to:

Ladies: Jill Beardsell, Maia Dunn, Beryl Jones and Jennie Woollard

Men: Peter Godber, Ashley Looker and Bill Sissons

Also County Colours were presented to:

Emilia Box, Livvy Tomkins & Ben McTaggart and

Junior County Colours were awarded to:
Notts Juniors  Anna Buckley, Moira Johnson & Amelia Rajecki; Daniel Blackburn, Jacob Clarke & James Wood

Rick then announced that all the Club names attending were into a hat for 3 doz Slazenger tennis balls donated by the event sponsor and the lucky Club was Keyworth TC

After this the Notts LTA League Presentation of Awards and Trophies was made John Poxon the Notts LTA League Chairman. John was ably assisted by one of the Lifetime Achievement winners Margaret. Special Presentations were made to Frank Baker and Mike Abrahamson for their retirement following many years of service to the League Committee.

You can see photos of all the awards winners here.



Notts LTA
The County Ground
Tennis Drive, The Park
Nottingham NG7 1AE
0115 9473702