Coaches player of the year awards

In 2007 we introduced a Coaches Player of the Year Award. 


This award was to recognise the dedication of our players and to thank them for all their hard work. Each year the coaches discuss all the players and look to see who stands out and meet any of the following  criteria.


  •  Have worked extremely hard  

  •  Have achieved great success

  •  Have helped other pupils to improve

  •  Are a great role model to the other pupils

  •  Have volunteered their time for free to assist in helping others learn about tennis


Lower Windrush Tennis Club


Elliot Heritage

Witney Lawn tennis club 2008

He played his first tournament at portcullis in May 2007

He entered the wrong age group by mistake playing in the under 11’s at the age of 8, had a very difficult time but it didn’t put him off.


2nd Dec played his first major graded tournament against top players from other counties, eventually coming 3rd.


Through the summer of 2008

Won – Witney open                  April

Won – Thame open                  May

Won – Oxford sports green     May

Runner–up Abingdon green    May

Runner–up Oxford graded  

Runner–up Portcullis U 10’s

Runner–up Portcullis U11’s

Finlay Heritage


Witney Lawn tennis club 2009

This year the award goes to someone who has achieved amazing things this year

  • During the summer he entered 6 champion ship race tournaments and won them all beating some of the top players in the county

  • He finished his orange ball year by winning the biggest tournament of the year the county closed

  • He moved up to green in September and since then won the grade 4 tournament at portcullis and then again this last weekend at south more


His hard work and enthusiasm is infectious and he is a great role model for the younger children when they see him train.


Ryan Fitz-John


Witney Lawn tennis club 2010

Over the last 3 years this award has been won by players who have achieved fantastic results and have competed at high levels.


This year however is a little different. When I introduced this award it was not just for excellence in performance it was also for people who have worked hard or have made an impact at the club.


This year’s winner is someone who has helped out at the club for the last couple of years. They help train our younger players and help to give them a fun and informative experience in the lessons. They currently do nearly 7 hours a week all voluntary and never ask for anything in return. They volunteer at tournaments we run and help out where ever is required.


They show maturity and dedication which is very impressive as they are only 15 years old.

It has been a pleasure to help offer this person the experience they are after and I hope that in the next few years this person will become a future qualified coach working with us at this club.


Ben Francis


Lower Windrush tennis club 2010

This was not an easy choice for me, we had players improving their ratings, there rankings in the county, going to Talent ID days, and then there were all the players who put in so much effort in lessons.


However the award this year goes to someone who has been exceptional helpful at the club, they have turned up for their coaching and worked hard, they Have regularly played for the club in matches but mainly have come along and voluntarily assisted in the running of session and tournaments. Gaining a qualification in Competition organisation in the process.


I would like to say thank you for your hard work and dedication to the coaches and the players, and you are a very good role model for all the younger players looking up to you.


Oliver Broadhurst


Witney Lawn tennis club 2011

This year’s award goes to a pupil who I have the privilege of teaching.

His love of tennis is wonderful whether training or competing he tries incredibly hard.

He has played in 23 tournaments in the 2010/2011 season with noticeable results being

The runner up in the County Championships this year.

Wellington grade 4 Junior Open 3rd place

Penny + Sinclair Junior Championships grade 3 quarterfinalist of the consolation draw

The My Club Coach mini tour grade 5 winner.

He has recently been selected to train with the County 10U squad

He is having coaching 4 times a week both here with me and in the performance groups in Abingdon.

These results alone would win this player the award this year. However it’s not just his results that have been a factor.


People always talk about the effort levels that Nadal put in as a junior and in to his adult career in his training sessions. Hitting every ball as if it was match point at the French Open.

Well I think even Nadal would be impressed with the level of effort and focus that this year’s winner employs.

He has recently started helping out the 9U academy group helping them to see what can be achieved and giving them a strong role model.


Oh yes and did I mention that this player is only 9 years old.


Chris Francis


Lower Windrush tennis club 2011

The winner of this award this year is a great role model at our club.

Their efforts in the lessons are fantastic and they are a pleasure to teach.

They have regularly represented our club in junior teams in the leagues.

They also regularly compete in the county wide tournaments.

This year they have joined the coaching team to help assist in sessions and teach the younger children about the game.



Annie Dennis


Witney lawn tennis club 2012

This year has been a very tricky year to decide who should win this award, players who have won this award since we had introduced it have gone on to play at a high level, win lots of tournaments and one even became a tennis coach.


This year we had a handful of children who could have won the award, and it wasn’t until Monday this week that we finally managed to make a decision, all the players have had a great year and done very well in tournaments and trained hard. But this year’s winner has worked that much harder and really has impressed the coaches.


In October 2011 they finished top of the leader board for 9U in Oxfordshire, this is based n results and points won during tournaments throughout the season.


They played for our U10 team and this team came second in their league. This is also a mixed gender league so our girls did quite often have to play against boys.


They were invited to train with the county squad throughout 2011 and again in the summer of 2012

This player helped the Girls under 12 team to win their league for the first time in the clubs history.

They have played regular tournaments throughout this year and have had some very good results.

This term they have joined our academy group and are now training with our best players including past winners, Elliot and Finlay Heritage and some of the boys who entered in to the men’s doubles at the club this year. 


The boys were not sure about an 11 year old girl joining the group but once they played against her, she soon put a stop to any questions about her ability.



Alex Raven


Lower Windrush tennis club 2012

This year the award is going to a player who has achieved fantastic results in competitions and is a great representative for our club.


His results over the last 12 months are:

  • In Dec 2010 he was the Runner up in Under 8’s Mini tennis Winter Series

  • In March 2011 he was the Runner Up in the Grade 4 Tour in Oxfordshire for Under 8’s

  • In April He Won the Witney Grade 4 Open for Under 8’s

  • In August he won two of the biggest events in the junior Calendar being the North Oxford Open and then the Junior County Closed,

  • In the spring of 2011 he achieved the Red level 1 Rating, the highest you can achieve for his age group and was then able to start playing Orange events a year early. He has played a number of Under 9 events and noticeably was the Runner up in October 2011 at the Wychwood tournament.

  • January this year he attended the White Horse Talent ID day and has been named in the county training squad.

I am sure you will agree a fantastic year for anyone and superb when you think this Player is still just 8 years old.



Max Hilleard


Lower Windrush tennis club 2013

This year the award goes to a pupil who shows great dedication and commitment to the coaching and is constantly looking for ways to improve. They turn up every week with a smile on their face and a superb attitude towards the coaching. They work extremely hard and are very helpful to other players,

This player has had to overcome some very difficult injuries and has had to have surgery on a number of occasions but comes back to the coaching as soon as he can. I asked this pupil to send me some information and this is what he replied.


‘Basically I was born with a curvature of the back, and at the age of about 5 I found out I had the back problem Scoliosis, At 15 I had my first operation where they fitted a titanium rod. Then about a year later it carried on curving and I had to have the bottom half of my spine fused together with more rods. I only have about 2 or 3 vertebrae left. I am very happy though as I can still do sports, I love sport, Tennis is basically my life’


All the coaches and I agree that this pupil is a true example of someone who loves tennis and works extremely hard no matter what.

He is a pleasure to teach and exactly the kind of pupil we are proud to have in our programme. He has asked me if he can now become part of the coaching team as he would love to help other children develop a love of the game.


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