Judy Murray named winner of the 'Lifetime Achievement' award at the 2019 UK Coaching Awards
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Judy Murray OBE has today been named as the winner of the ‘Lifetime Achievement’ award at this year’s UK Coaching Awards.
The awards, which will take place at The Tower Hotel London on the 5 December, serve to recognise outstanding coaching from both people and organisations, highlighting the role coaching plays in transforming lives and inspiring an active nation.
Judy will receive her award in recognition of her outstanding achievements through a lifetime dedicated to coaching.
Where it all began…
A former Scottish international tennis player, Judy started her coaching apprenticeship as the lone volunteer coach in her home town of Dunblane. She rose quickly and was one of the first women to pass the LTA’s Performance Coach Award, the highest-level LTA qualification. She went on to become British Fed Cup team captain and in her role as Scottish national coach, she was an instrumental figure in the development of numerous British number ones, including Jamie Baker, Elena Baltacha, Colin Fleming, Alan Mackin and, of course, the early careers of her sons Andy and Jamie.
Judy is well-known for her person-centred coaching and has been passionate about making tennis inclusive for everyone, whatever their background and no matter their ability. At the forefront of innovation, she has developed several highly successful tennis programmes, which have helped raise the profile of female coaching and accelerated positive change for women’s tennis at grass-roots level and beyond.
More opportunities for females to play tennis in the UK:
Judy has spent the last eight years investing her time into the starter tennis programme for girls, Miss-Hits. It has now been delivered to tens of thousands of girls around the world, helping increase female participation in tennis.
Judy has also shaped coach learning structure and influenced coach development opportunities in Britain and around the world. The She Rallies programme - developed in conjunction with the LTA - has created more opportunities for females to play tennis in the UK, while her Tennis on the Road programme is aimed at growing the coaching workforce that delivers tennis. In 2018 she launched The Judy Murray Foundation, the mission of which is to bring tennis into areas of Scotland that are not synonymous with tennis, such as rural and disadvantaged inner-city communities. Thanks to her relentless drive and boundless energy, Judy has succeeded in creating a road map for the future success of our sport.
Speaking about her award win, Judy Murray said:
“It’s a massive honour for me to be given a Lifetime Achievement Award by UK Coaching. I’ve been coaching for almost 30 years now, having started as a volunteer at Dunblane Sports Club when my kids were toddlers. I’ve experienced every step of the coaching journey from local community club right up to Grand Slams, Olympics and Fed Cup, so I understand the importance of having great coaches at every stage and every level of the game.
“I also understand the importance of sharing ideas, experiences and philosophies with others and across sports. The easiest and quickest way to become good at what you do is to work alongside people who have been there and done it. For the past few years, I have spent most of my time building tennis workforces around the world because I realised I could have a much longer term impact on tennis if I went back to grassroots and invested in others.
“Sport is competing with so many things for people’s time and attention these days that it’s vital that we create environments that are fun and stimulating. People make environments, and first impressions are crucial, so my main focus with workforces is aimed at delivering a number of starter programmes for kids, teens or adults.
“My philosophy is all about creating games and exercises that do the teaching for you because I learned from bringing up my own kids that they don’t want to listen to you, they just want to play with you. That’s why I say skills before drills. And make it fun so they want to come back - no matter what age or stage they are.”
LTA CEO Scott Lloyd added:
“Congratulations to Judy on behalf of everyone at the LTA and all involved in tennis in Britain.
“We’re hugely proud of everything she has achieved, not only as a coach herself, but also the impact that she has had inspiring other coaches in communities across the country. She continues to be a driving force for engaging women and girls - dedicating time, energy and passion to help grow our sport. I’ve known Judy for long time and there is truly no one more deserving of this award.”
The sheer scope of Judy’s impact across a distinguished 30-year coaching career is impossible to quantify. A role model and global ambassador for women’s tennis, Judy continues to be a key influencer in coach learning, participation and player development.