Ace coaches are serving up a treat at Leverstock Green Tennis Club

Leverstock Green Tennis Club's Lizzie Ayling with Great Britain Davis Cup captain Leon Smith
Leverstock Green Tennis Club's Lizzie Ayling with Great Britain Davis Cup captain Leon Smith
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It’s an exciting time to be part of Leverstock Green Tennis Club, with summer on the horizon and plenty of exciting events taking place on and off the court as the club looks to build on the Davis Cup legacy.

Last year was an historic one for British tennis as the GB Davis Cup team and coach Leon Smith took their place in the history books as they were crowned world champions for the first time in 79 years.

Following on from the win, the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) have been on the hunt for the best and most inspiring coaches across the country; looking for 1,000 coaches to deliver 6,000 hours of coaching to 10,000 children to help shape the future of junior tennis in Britain.

One such coach who has been chosen for the prestigious Davis Cup Legacy scheme is Leverstock Green’s Lizzie Ayling, who will be running a free six-week introductory course for five to eight-year-olds after she was mentored by GB coach Smith at an introductory session.

Lizzie said: “I was really happy to be selected because it is really exciting to be a part of something that is this big and new.

“It’s a really great opportunity and I am really excited about the possibilities that this could lead to. There is going to be a really big buzz about it.

“We are involved because we love tennis – if we didn’t we wouldn’t dedicate our lives to doing what we are doing – and if we can give that to someone else, that a really special feeling.”

Leverstock Green will be looking for 10 children to take part in the programme who are fairly new to the sport. They will receive the free lessons, a free tennis racket at lesson four and a discounted package to join the club going forward.

In other exciting news at the club, Leverstock Green picked up two trophies at the inaugural Herts Tennis awards dinner.

Alfie Rushton won Young Volunteer of the Year, while head coach Graham Fish won Coach of the Year.

The awards were launched by LTA president Cathie Sabin, who has championed the opportunity to thank tennis volunteers.

She said: “If it wasn’t for the selfless efforts of the people who run the clubs, centres and parks we simply would not be able to offer tennis to everyone who would like to play.

“I have long believed that everyone who helps to deliver, develop and promote British Tennis should be thanked, acknowledged and rewarded for everything they do on our behalf.”

Speaking about his award, Graham said: “I had no idea that I was even being put forward for an award so it came as a real surprise – it was very unexpected.

“It’s nice because it shows that you have been recognised; me getting the award is more to do with the wonderful people that we have at the club.

“It recognises the development of young coaches and that is what we are all about at this club. Although it is my name against the award, this just represents what we do here.”

Meanwhile, Leverstock Green have welcomed new LTA-licensed Level 3 coach James Droy to the club.

From 2010 to 2104, James was the head coach for the Pat Cash Tennis Academy in the Caribbean, before taking up a role at the Corby Tennis Centre in Northampton.

James, who has already made a big impact at Leverstock Green in his first few weeks, will be coaching across the club, supporting Graham and the coaching team with junior and adult squads, coffee mornings and cardio sessions.

He said: “I’ve only been here a few weeks but I already feel really comfortable – all of the coaches here have a real buzz on court. I immediately got on with Graham and the committee members and everybody looks out for one another.

“It is great to be working in a team environment with a group of really enthusiastic coaches, because we all have a good laugh together.”

To find out more about Leverstock Green Tennis Club, visit www.leverstock.net or call 01442 393393