Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School named ‘School of the Year’ at LTA Tennis Awards



Bishop Vesey’s Grammar School’s stunning work on court has seen them scoop the ‘School of the Year’ award at the 2020 LTA Tennis Awards.

One of 18 national winners, Bishop Vesey’s in Sutton Coldfield were the cream of the crop in the education ceremony, rewarded by the governing body for tennis in Britain for their efforts throughout 2019.

Just five years ago, tennis wasn’t even on offer at the school. Now it’s a key part of the curriculum with more than 100 students playing in lunchtime clubs alone.

A shining example of the LTA’s Schools of Tennis pilot programme, tennis is now played throughout the year at Bishop Vesey’s – and they don’t plan to slow down any time soon.

In a virtual ceremony held on Thursday, the school was presented its award by Scott Lloyd, CEO of the LTA.

The award is something that I really want to build on and make sure we continue to develop the sport further and get even more students involved in playing, officiating and leading sessions.

Speaking about their award win, Director of Sport at Bishop Vesey's Chris Howell commented: 

"As a school we are very proud of this award and it has taken a lot of commitment from key people to make it happen. The head teacher and I were watching the awards live and I was really pleased when we were shortlisted for the final three and ecstatic when we won.

The award is something that I really want to build on and make sure we continue to develop the sport further and get even more students involved in playing, officiating and leading sessions.

A big thanks to Tom Greenwood and Paul Robinson who have been very influential in organising and taking fixtures, developing CPD for staff and running many of the extra-curricular sessions.”

Currently in their fifth year, the LTA Tennis Awards celebrate the achievements made by outstanding tennis volunteers, coaches, officials, venues and players in Britain. To be in contention for the national award, Bishop Vesey’s had already claimed the County award for Warwickshire and the LTA regional award for the Midlands.

Growing tennis in schools is one of the central parts of the LTA’s vision to open up tennis, leading to the development of a ground-breaking junior programme, LTA Youth, to get more children to play and stay in tennis, whatever their ability and background. The LTA’s schools programme will be fully embedded as part of LTA Youth, and while the coronavirus pandemic has delayed the roll out of the programme this year, LTA Youth will be taken to schools right across Britain in the coming months and years.

Streamed live on LTA channels and presented by Leon Smith OBE, the national ceremony – which was digital for the first time in the awards’ history – saw Bishop Vesey’s pick up their award alongside 17 other national winners, including current British No.1s Dan Evans and Johanna Konta who were named the LTA Men’s and Women’s ‘Player of the Year’ respectively.

This year saw more than 2,000 nominations across grassroots categories including Young Person of the Year and Club of the Year.

Nominations were drawn from more than 25,000 volunteers, 4,400 coaches, 940 officials, 20,000 schools, 2,700 clubs and more than 9,700 LTA approved tournaments, demonstrating the extraordinary contributions of individuals and venues who help to open up the sport and bring new fans and players to the game.

“The LTA Tennis Awards are a real celebration of the people that make our sport thrive,” said LTA president, David Rawlinson. “They celebrate the achievements made by outstanding volunteers, coaches, officials, venues and players, who are all vital in helping us to grow the game.

“To be named a national winner out of over 2,000 public nominations is a fantastic achievement so I’d like to congratulate all of this year’s winners and extend my thanks to each and every one of them for all that they do to help tennis in Britain.”

National Runners Up

Queen Anne’s School

Queen Anne’s provides excellent leadership opportunities and an all year-round tennis offer in outstanding facilities. They also have a very competitive house tennis competition which involves 80% of students. 

St Peters Primary School

St. Peter’s previously had no provision of tennis and, before last year, the majority of children had never picked up a racket. Several pupils now have regular coaching and they now provide a year-round tennis offer and have a sport that they can all enjoy and play together

LTA School of the Year 2020 – National Shortlist

  • Bishop Vesey's Grammar School in Warwickshire
  • Glasgow PE PASS - Active Schools
  • Lewis School in Wales
  • Queen Anne’s School in Berkshire
  • St Peters Primary School in Kent
  • Wickham Parochial Primary School in Durham & Cleveland

To see a full list of winners from the LTA Tennis Awards 2020 click here.

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