LUSU Sports win ‘Disability Award’ at LTA Tennis Awards
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LUSU Sports’ desire to make tennis accessible for all has seen them scoop the ‘Disability Award’ at the 2020 LTA Tennis Awards.
One of 18 national winners, LUSU – formed by Louise Assioun and Sue Morrison to help make sport inclusive – were given the accolade from the governing body for tennis in Britain on account of their efforts in the North West.
LUSU Sports inspired many people during an amazing 2019, starting with a multi-activities event at the Greater Manchester Special Olympics.
They produce unique and adapted tennis resources, ensuring tennis is available to all and, for the past three years, have delivered the Stockport Special Educational Needs and Disability tennis festival.
In a virtual ceremony held on Thursday, LUSU were presented their award by Nigel Huddleston, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Heritage.
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, LUSU Sports had already claimed the County award for Cheshire and the LTA regional award for the North of England.
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 LUSU Sports 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.
LUSU Sports were chosen from a strong national shortlist, with Great Britain being regarded as one of the leading nations in the world for disability tennis. At a grassroots level, the LTA’s Open Court disability tennis programme is one of the largest of its kind across any sport, with over 13,000 people playing tennis as part of it last year.
“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
Grantham Tennis Club
Having won this award in 2016, Grantham Tennis Club have continued their exceptional disability tennis offer. Every week, Grantham delivers multiple Learning Disability, Wheelchair, Autistic and Mental Health sessions amongst other offers, and they provide work experience to people with additional needs in their café.
Wrexham Tennis Centre
The Centre provides weekly Learning Disability, Wheelchair and Downs Syndrome sessions and outreach to local schools. They have developed strong partnerships, such as with the Stroke Association and two of their players won medals at the 2019 Special Olympics.
LTA Disability Award 2020 – National Shortlist
- David Sanger from Southbourne Tennis Club in Dorset
- Get Set 4 Tennis in Middlesex
- Grantham Tennis Club in Lincolnshire
- LUSU Sports in Cheshire
- Prestwick Tennis and Fitness in Scotland
- Steve Shaw from Cambridge Lawn Tennis Club
- Wrexham Tennis Centre in Wales
To see a full list of winners from the LTA Tennis Awards 2020 click here