Players from West Bridgford Tennis Club’s Special Olympics East Midlands Tennis Group won a total of seven gold medals, seven silver medals and three bronze medals last weekend at the 11th National Learning Disability Tennis Event at Nottingham Tennis Centre.
With a record 58 players from across the country converging on the Highfields venue for the event organised by the Tennis Foundation, in association with Special Olympics Great Britain, West Bridgford’s Dominic Hubner and Scott Brown both won a brace of gold medals, winning their singles events as well as their men’s doubles events to complete the weekend unbeaten. Alex Hopkinson and Aiden Leigton also went home with singles and doubles medals after partnering Hubner and Brown to clinch two of a total four doubles gold medals won by partnerships from the West Bridgford group of athletes amid strong opposition from players from the length and breadth of Great Britain.
James Cregan also won gold in his men’s singles event, while Ruddington’s Luke East and Aronld’s Alex Eustace backed up silver and bronze medals in their singles events by combining to win men’s doubles gold.
Cotgrave’s Leigh Foster claimed a full set of gold, silver and bronze medals from his singles, men’s doubles and mixed doubles events over the course of the weekend, wining gold in the mixed doubles with Radcliff-on-Trent’s Katherine Ashcroft, who was also a silver medallist her women’s singles group.
East Leake’s Michael Clarke and Mapperley’s Steven Uttley added to the medal haul, both players winning singles and doubles silver medals, Clarke winning his doubles silver with Matthew Chilvers, who just missed out on a singles bronze medal.
The national tournament saw players of like tennis ability competing against each other in a series of round-robin groups, with the West Bridgford players once again excelling and adding to the medals won in a series of regional Tennis Foundation events earlier this year, including one at Nottingham Centre back in May.
“We had a fantastic weekend with a high standard of tennis and it’s great to see our National event tournament growing year-on-year to become a three-day event for the first time this year. Before moving from Nottingham to Scotland and working with the disability tennis network up there I worked closely with the players at West Bridgford Tennis Club and it’s very exciting to see all the players continuing to improve and make progress under the guidance of my daughter Mel and son Matt,” said Tennis Foundation coach and Special Olympics Great Britain National Tennis Coaching and Competitions Advisor Lesley Whitehead. Whitehead has her own reasons to celebrate this week after the former West Bridgford Tennis Club Tennis Manager was named winner of the Disability Award in the 2014 Tennis Scotland Awards in recognition of her work with learning disability players both nationally and regionally.
If you would like more information about learning disability tennis, visit http://www.ldtennis.org.uk/.