East Anglia Tennis & Squash Club – Disability Programme and Matt Breese, Easton & Otley College Tennis Centre have both been awarded Regional Winners of the British Tennis Awards 2019.

Having both won the county awards in February,  they were then nominated and successful at regional level. This means they are now short listed for the national awards announced in July.

Please read below their applications and reasons why they are having this success:

NORFOLK Disability Award

 Nominee details

Club/venue:                                   East Anglia Tennis & Squash Club – Disability Programme

Email Address:                               derekperry@eatsc.org.uk

In 100 words, describe how the nominee provides quality, accessible and affordable opportunities for people with a disability to play, volunteer or work in tennis

The club is committed to the delivery of an inclusive tennis program, for all ages and abilities, in a safe and friendly environment. The coaching includes sessions for learning disabilities, wheelchair tennis coaching, VI specific sessions, hearing impairments, autism,  DSActive group, mental health sessions periodically, and now a group with Headway (for people with brain injuries). The coaches work closely with NLTA, Active Norfolk and many day centres & charities to provide opportunities for all. The club has also started a mentoring scheme so players with a disability help a younger player.

In 100 words describe: How the nominee has grown the number of participants over the past year How the nominee has provided excellent customer service to all

The clubs program is split into 2 areas at the club or on site, at school or charities. At its peak the club will see up to 100 players per week. The club does provide excellent customer service, and we achieve this by talking to our players/parents/teachers about their objectives and any special requirements.

The club has grown the wheelchair tennis programme, and there are now juniors and adults being coached. The monthly Sunday DSActive sessions are so popular a weekly Friday afternoon sessions has now started and is opening up to become a DS/LD session.

In 100 words, describe how the nominee has provided a safe and inclusive environment for all ages, abilities and backgrounds?

The club has an experienced work force, with 2  L4 accredited plus coaches ,1 L 2, 2 L 1, and group of very high level volunteers, who are trained by the coaches. The club has widened doors at the front and rear of the building and has mobile ramps, some of the tennis courts have ramps, for wheelchair access. The club has a lift and toilet suitable for wheelchair users. Talking to parents carers helps us to gain information on the players requirements and needs, together with over 15 years of working juniors and adults with disabilities. Age appropriate sessions are now available and all inclusive sessions are subsidised by NLTA/Tennis Foundation funding to ensure there are no barriers for participants due to cost or accessibility.

In 100 words, describe how the nominee has found creative ways to engage with participants

The club coaches, lead by Derek Perry, do a great deal of outreach coaching, going into complex needs schools, colleges for foundation learners, day centres & charities so people can receive quality tennis coaching in their environment initially, whilst being encouraged to go to the club when more confident, to play on full size courts. The head coach and committee are now linking with several new organisations like Headway and Steelbones to set up new projects.

In no more than 50 words, please provide any further information to support this nomination if you wish

The club and coaches at EATSC are so passionate about their inclusive tennis and are always looking for new contacts and opportunities to expand the programmes and create new sessions for people with disabilities of any age, gender, impairment and ability!

NORFOLK Official of the Year

Nominee details

Full Name:                                      Matt Breese                                                 

Email Address:                               mattbreese@eastonotley.ac.uk              

In 100 words, describe how the nominee: Has shown an outstanding contribution to British Tennis in any officiating capacity Has gone above and beyond the minimum requirement for their certification/grade

As a referee Matt has used his experience and desire to give junior players of varying standards as much match play experience as possible. He has led the new Norfolk scheme ‘Tier 2 County Cup’ that runs alongside the county training pathway. This offers the opportunity for players just below the required county training level high quality match play with players from other counties. This, with his very popular team tennis tournaments, gives many match play opportunities to club/venue teams in a league system.

In 100 words, describe how the nominee is an ambassador for British Tennis and a role model for new and existing officials

Matt’s leadership of the tournaments programme demonstrates to players, parents and coaches how to support players in their match play development and also gives opportunities for other referees and volunteers to run events. All of these schemes are very highly thought of by the players, venues, coaches and other counties.

In 100 words, describe how the nominee has shown personal development over the past year

  • Matt has developed this year by engaging with the other local Counties organising events for them which are very popular with the players, parents and coaches.   Counties are more than happy to travel to Norfolk because they feel the events are run so efficiently and professionally.  Matt works in his free time to ensure the events run smoothly, working as a volunteer on many occasions.
  • Matt works with a group of local coaches to get the best out of them and they in turn support him with this initiative.
  • He has organised a referee course for Norfolk because the County is so short of officials and took it upon himself to lead this and encourage local coaches to get involved.

In no more than 50 words, please provide any further information to support this nomination if you wish

  • Venues all over the county support Matt with the team tennis venture and the smallest of venues enter teams to compete in this fun competition.
  • He is a very valuable member of our County Structure and we are grateful for this input.