Warwick and Kenilworth youngsters win prestigious national tennis award
County Under 14s boys' team celebrate LTA President's Award
Three talented young tennis teammates from Warwick and Kenilworth are celebrating a prestigious national award. Nationally-ranked Ferran Redza from Warwick plus Connor Checketts and Ollie Roe, both from Kenilworth are members of Warwickshire’s 14 and Under County Cup Boys Team which has won the coveted LTA President’s Award at the Association’s National Awards Ceremony. The boys were nominated by Warwickshire for their gruelling feat in raising over £2500 for the NHS and Covid patients while covering around 170 miles with a virtual team run. The youngsters were bitterly disappointed when the Inter-County Cup Championship in May 2020 was cancelled but instead they stayed positive by fund-raising and keeping fit into the bargain. The team, which also included Yash Bhalkar, Luca Vladau and Sukhraj Malhi from Birmingham, Samuel Sitch from Solihull, Daniel Garthwaite from Rugby and their captain and coach Simon Ferguson, ran as many miles as possible on the two weekends scheduled for the championship.
Running individually in their home areas and cheered on by their proud supporters, several even ran marathon distances over the five days. So impressed was LTA President David Rawlinson by the boys’ grit and generosity that he selected them to receive his personal national award. It was a welcome addition to the other honours they have won, including Warwickshire’s Team of the Year Award and the Jimmy Hill Legacy Award, from nurses of the RISE Mental Health Services, recognising acts of kindness during the pandemic by young people in Coventry and Warwickshire.
The county’s top player Dan Evans from Birmingham, the British number 1 was named LTA Men’s Player of the Year following a superb return to competition after lockdown. He got to the third round of Wimbledon and reached a career high world ranking of 25.
County stalwart Claire Williamson, from Blossomfield Club, a popular coach and long-serving Warwickshire player was a national finalist in the Performance Coach Category. After leading numerous Warwickshire junior girls’ sides with great dedication, she had already won the awards for both the County and the Midlands Performance Coach of the Year.
“All of us in Warwickshire Tennis are hugely proud of our prizewinners and our finalist Claire,” said County Chairman Sherrie Meaking. “Our 14 and Under Boys have rightly been recognised for a great team effort with the LTA President’s Award – a fantastic feat by the boys themselves, their coaches and families. Dan Evans thoroughly deserves his accolade of LTA Men’s Player of the Year after a fantastic season. These awards will remain a lasting memory in everybody’s mind, but also promote all the good things we are doing in Warwickshire for Club and County Tennis.”