Stonyhurst and its Director of Tennis have won two major Tennis Lancashire Awards taking them through to the regional sector of the LTA National Tennis Awards to be held later this year.

The annual Tennis Lancashire Awards were held on Friday February 26th 2021 and winners were revealed in an online awards ceremony on Lancashire Tennis Award’s Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages.

The awards are presented each year, with coaches, volunteers, clubs and other tennis venues being nominated by individuals across the County and then decided by the awards committee of Tennis Lancashire. 

Stonyhurst are pleased to have won two out of the three awards nominated for:

• Education Award – Stonyhurst College and St Mary’s Hall

• Performance Coach of The Year – Director of Tennis, David Shaw

The Stonyhurst Tennis Academy was introduced to the children’s’ curriculum in 2017 and then took on a new life when David Shaw, Director of Tennis and his team of coaches, joined in 2018. The Academy has gone from strength to strength over the last two years with David’s newly designed academy programme which creates player pathways for any aspiring pupil wishing to play tennis. This extensive programme now allows over 170 pupils to play tennis on a regular basis. 

Tennis has always been a large part of the Stonyhurst sports offering with ten outdoor tennis courts and two indoor courts housed in a newly built tennis dome. The introduction of the Grand Slam standard indoor tennis courts provides pupils with all-year-round access and training support, raising the level of tennis skill at Stonyhurst. Stonyhurst’s vast facilities paired with David’s remarkable coaching have attracted a cohort of national and regional standard players over the years.

David Shaw, Director of Tennis says “winning the awards has been the result of a lot of people’s hard work and commitment in providing the opportunity for children to develop their skills in a fun environment”.

David has had a highly successful tennis career from a very young age. He turned professional at the age of 17 and played a number of respectable players along the way, including former Wimbledon champion of 1987 Australian Pat Cash and Aussie doubles player Mark Woodforde. After retiring as a professional player at the age of 24, David made the transition to coaching where he has attained elite level five.

Lancashire Tennis Awards said: David’s dedication and passion towards helping players reach their potential is inspirational. During his short time as Director of Tennis at Stonyhurst College, David has implemented a comprehensive tennis programme with over 170 weekly players between the ages of 3-18 years old.’

For Stonyhurst pupils, participation in sport can help enhance academic performance and foster collaboration, self-confidence and leadership skills. Every year group from Year 5 has access to tennis as part of the physical education programme and 100 per cent of pupils have access as part of the extra-curricular activities at Stonyhurst. The Stonyhurst Tennis Programme provides access to children at all skill levels, from those who wish to play for fun and those who want to become professional players at national level. The tennis dome also provides for the whole of the Stonyhurst community, including parents and friends, with the opportunity of playing tennis or having tennis lessons, through the Stonyhurst Tennis Programme.

Stonyhurst would like to congratulate all other nominees and the winners of each award and look forward to the next stage within the North Regional finals.