Cheshire County LTA Presentation Evening 2023

Cheshire Club of the Year - Winner – Hoole LTC

We were delighted to be asked to enter Club of the Year category and even more delighted to win this sought after title.

The judges felt that Hoole LTC embodies everything a successful club should be with its wide ranging coaching program complete with internal and external competition. The club works closely with the local community, staging events and encouraging an ethos of “Tennis for All”. None of this would be possible without its members and coaching team, many of whom form part of the loyal team of volunteers.  This is clearly demonstrated by the other awards picked up by our community….

Unsung Hero - Winner – John Allera

John Allera is the most steadfast and dependable of volunteers at Hoole LTC where he has been a member for over 60 years.  Rain or shine he volunteers for at least 6 hours a week as part of the maintenance crew and it is he who has inspired many others to volunteer. He organises a team to do weekly mowing and gardening, clubhouse DIY and the all important court maintenance and can be relied upon to help at all club events. His amazing lemon drizzle cake is now a legendary part of Hoole events.

Tennis For All - Winner – Callum Atkinson

Callum has a very personal approach to inclusive tennis.  With the help of his LUSU bag he has taken tennis into schools, parks and community centres to break down the barriers of coming to a traditional tennis club.  Working with a number of children with autism he has made a dramatic impact in their lives.

Meet Robin, one of Callum's autistic pupils and here is what his mum has said. "I'm so proud of him.  To see him focused for half an hour, being outdoors and getting so much praise, it's magic.  I want to advertise it to all the autism groups. Routines are so important to Robin and he basically wouldn't do anything else yesterday just waited the whole day for tennis".

For another 5 year old, Callum has created a series of comic book adventures to be completed each lesson. At the end of the lesson they sit down together to draw the pictures.

What a difference one person can make to the lives of others.

Development Coach – Highly Commended – Max Enston

Max is regarded as one of the most innovative coaches in Cheshire. From fast flashing reaction lights to funky new targets the children relish their sessions with him as they know he will have something new each lesson. Using his Instagram account to improve customer service, within a month he had acquired nearly 3000 followers. Every one of his 24 individual proteges is now playing competitively from team challenge to grade 3 tournaments.  He has inclusion at the heart of every lesson and ensures that he caters for every ability. Always keen to improve he has begun his level 4 coaching course, using the expansion of his technical and tactical knowledge to write all over his flipchart for things for the children to put into action.

The judges were very impressed with Max and have very high hopes for him in the future

Dick Fontes Trophy – Winner – Daniel Longshaw

The Dick Fontes trophy is awarded to the Junior player who has most impressed the Junior Performance Committee not necessarily with his or her ability but with the commitment shown to the county and club.  This year the unanimous decision was to award the trophy to Dan. Dan won his first county title at 8U and has gone from strength to strength both as a player and now as a Level 2 coach. He has represented the county in all age groups including the 18U team this year in Group 1. He is a great role model in the way he conducts himself on and off the court and it is appropriate that he applied to be an LTA Junior Ambassador and was duly appointed. He coaches both at Hoole and the Wirral Tennis Centre combining this with his A level studies.  He is a very worthy recipient.

Connecting Communities Award - Winner - Phil Leighton

When Phil heard that Wirral's only indoor centre was destined for closure he felt passionately that this valuable asset could be saved for the local community. With his wealth of experience he developed a coaching proposal sympathetic to the Wirral tennis landscape of local clubs and coaches which engaged with local schools, charities and other stakeholders to meet the wider needs of the community, something which hitherto had not been possible. Having visited 18 local schools he has built up a coaching programme of over 300 players. His plan is inclusive of 7 schools in some of the most deprived areas. As part of the Wirral Tennis Network Steering group his inclusive strategy is designed to bring health and well being opportunities to the whole community. He has also reactivated wheelchair tennis on the site and has embraced initiatives such as the Action for Children holiday programme. There is no better person to receive this award.

Ann Rex Bursary - Lois Roberts

Lois was one of six juniors to be awarded the bursary, in recognition of her "outstanding improvement as a player in 2023".

Team of the Year – Winner – 12U Boys County Cup

With Vice Captain Scott McCormick & team player James Horton from Hoole LTC.  They did so well to beat the mighty Surrey in the final.

Cheshire Junior Shield Team - Winners - Hoole LTC - Dan Longshaw & Rafael Kiss

Dan & Rafael did not drop a game in getting to the final.