British Tennis Awards 2013
The 2013 British Tennis Awards took place at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena last week. The awards recognise those who give so much of their time to tennis, working behind the scenes as committee members, competitions organisers as well as coaches and players.
LTA Official of the Year went to Lesley Whitehead. Lesley was the Tennis Competition Manager for the Special Olympics National Games held in Bath in August 2013, providing expert advice on organisation and classification as well as acting as the Referee. Lesley has been involved on a voluntary basis with Special Olympics GB since 2007 as head coach for the GB tennis squads at several European and World events and has recently been appointed as Head Coach for the Special Olympics World Games in Los Angeles in 2015. Lesley was most recently the Tournament Referee at the Annual Learning Disability National Event in Nottingham, which attracted record numbers of entrants.
Lesley who moved from Nottingham to Scotland a year ago is a member of Newlands Tennis Club. Alongside her commitments nationally in coaching and supporting players with a learning disability, she is now coordinating the Glasgow Disability Tennis Programme, offering playing opportunities to people with a disability across Glasgow & surrounding areas.
Disability Player of the Year winner was Fabrice Higgins who Lesley coaches on the Tennis Foundation Learning Disability Performance Programme. Fabrice, 18, from Lancashire has been the British No 1 for the past 3 years and in June this year became triple world champion after winning gold in the men’s singles, men’s doubles and the Team event at the INAS World Tennis Championships in the Czech Republic.
Another notable British Tennis Awards winner was Wimbledon champion Andy Murray who won Player of the Year.
Jenny Box, Volunteer Engagement Manager said: “It’s so great to be able to recognise the hard work of all of these brilliant people in British Tennis in such a prestigious way. Having such a fantastic tennis event at the end of the year gives us a great opportunity to get everyone together for the ceremony. Its inspirational hearing what everyone has been up to and how much time they give up day to day to help support British Tennis and participation growth.”
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