Tennis coach honoured

A young tennis coach from Henleaze has been recognised for his efforts by the national Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).

Nineteen-year-old Tom Watson has been coaching youngsters through Thrive Tennis Coaching at Westbury Park Tennis Club since gaining qualifications in 2021. Having been nominated by his club, he has now been awarded the 2024 County Rising Star of the Year award for Avon by the LTA.

Dan Church, head coach of Thrive Tennis, which coaches children and adults at all levels at the Westbury Park club, said: “Tom has grown into an integral part of the club, both from a playing and coaching perspective. Seeing his passion for coaching and developing our juniors, and his confidence grow in his skills, has been wonderful”.

Currently on gap-year travels before taking up a place at Bath University in September to embark on a maths degree, Tom therefore missed the award ceremony, but there are plans for his award to be presented to him in person when he returns. He hopes to continue his tennis playing at university, but also to return in the holidays to coach sessions back at the club.

Avon Tennis said:“The LTA-backed award is for a young volunteer who inspires people from a range of backgrounds to play tennis, who is a role model, who shows creativity or innovation and also who shows that their volunteering activities have contributed to their personal development.”

The awards recognise and champion the people who deliver tennis locally and are split into 13 categories.
Avon Tennis secretary Clive Sampson added: “The standard of entries this year was really high and I would like to congratulate all the winners. It is heartening to reward those who put so much effort into providing opportunities for others to play and enjoy tennis.”