Last Friday the East Midlands Learning Disability Tennis Group won Programme of the Year for its LD Access Tennis Programme at the Lord's Taverners Sporting Chance Awards.
This Learning Disability group is based at West Bridgford Tennis Club under the direction of Lesley Whitehead and assisted by Matt and Melanie Whitehead.
It was the families of the athletes who attend the coaching that nominated the programme for the award as they felt the programme should be recognised for the life changing experiences and tennis opportunities it provides for their children. On Friday 11th Sept one of the fathers and an athlete attended the award ceremony at the Mansion House, London.
The Access Tennis Programme was in a very tough category against Sussex County Cricket Club, London All Stars Basketball Club and Bridge College so this was a superb win. Even in winning the parents quoted "Many congratulations to Lesley, Matt and Mel, as without you we would not have the inspirational programme".
Below is the article posted by Lord's Taverners.
The inaugural Sporting Chance Awards, launched by the UK’s leading youth cricket and disability sports charity, took place on Friday 11 September at Mansion House, London. Hosted by BBC presenter and sports journalist Manish Bhasin, the awards celebrated the achievement of young people in disability and mainstream sports. The launch ceremony also recognised the individuals, clubs and programmes which enable young people from disadvantaged backgrounds or with disabilities to enjoy a sporting chance across the UK.
The Lord’s Taverners President, Sir Michael Parkinson was joined by Paralympic champion, David Clark and Giles Long MBE to honour the young people and volunteerswho have made a significant contribution to their sport in 2015.
Lord’s Taverners CEO Paul Robin said: “We are delighted to have launched the Sporting Chance Awards this year and it is brilliant to see the extraordinary talent and dedication that exists within disability and mainstream sport. Each winner is tremendously worthy of their prize and it is fantastic to acknowledge their hard work and achievements. We look forward to building on the success of this year’s event and celebrating even more sporting chances being created again next year."
Georgia Shearman winner of the ‘Junior of the Year’ award, said: “I’m so delighted to win the award and words can’t describe how much it means to me to be here at such a wonderful venue. It’s so inspirational to be here amongst so many unassuming worthy winners and that what makes these awards so special, the nominees believe they don’t deserve to be here.”
This year, the winners of the Sporting Chance award categories were as follows:
o Junior of the Year: Georgia Shearman
o Sports Club of the Year: Minster Lovell CC
o Programme of the Year: The Access Tennis Programme
o Greatest Personal Development: Ben Parsons
o Service to Sport: Stephen Greatorex
o Jean Ratcliff Lifetime Contribution: David Hooper, Grandad of Lord’s Taverners ambassador Alfie Hewitt