Stonyhurst College win major tennis award for the consecutive year

The top private school, based near Clitheroe, was recognised for its tennis prowess.

By Aimee Seddon
Thursday, 16th December 2021, 3:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 21st December 2021, 10:57 am

Stonyhurst College and its preparatory school Stonyhurst St Mary's Hall has won the prestigious Lawn Tennis Association's Lancashire Tennis School of the Year award for the second consecutive year.

The historic fee-paying institution, near Clitheroe, found out they had the won the major tennis accolade yet again at this year's Tennis Lancashire Awards, held on December 12.

The Lancashire Tennis Awards are presented annually; with coaches, volunteers, clubs and other tennis venues being nominated by individuals across the county and the final decision being made by the awards committee of Tennis Lancashire,

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Stonyhurst School has won a major tennis award for the second year: Pre-Prep boys celebrate in Tennis Dome.

Stonyhurst's Tennis Academy has gone from strength to strength under the directorship of former professional David Shaw and his team of coaches, who have developed a cohort of national and regional players. and now their nomination goes forward to be considered for the LTA North Region 2022 Award in the New Year.

The school believe this outstanding achievement highlights the standard of the sport and investment in Tennis at Stonyhurst, with such continued investment being part of the school's master plan to take its renowned Tennis Programme to a new level.

Stonyhurst’s Director of Tennis and former professional, David Shaw, who joined Stonyhurst in 2018, said: “Winning the award for a consecutive year is a credit to the dedication of our pupils and coaches, and continued investment in the sport. Over the past 3 years we have developed a top-quality Tennis Programme that enables over 250 pupils to access the tennis dome each week to enjoy the sport.”

In 2017, the state-of-the-art tennis dome, called the ‘air dome facility’ was built for the school, which was designed to the same specification as other prestigious facilities such as The Queen’s Club, London, which they say has enabled an exceptional tennis programme to be developed and recognised by Lancashire Tennis.

Former professional, David Shaw coaching Stonyhurst tennis players.

With 10 outdoor tennis courts and a further two indoor in the Grand Slam standard tennis dome, Stonyhurst pupils have all-year round access and training, which has raised the level of tennis skills under the coaching of two former tennis professionals, David Shaw and Liz Thomas.

Due to demand for the sport, former tennis professional, Liz Thomas, who represented England, joined the elite coaching team in January 2020, and has encouraged a huge number of children to participate in the programme.

Liz Thomas added: "I feel incredibly proud that Stonyhurst has won this award for the second time. For the commitment, expansion and progress of the programme to have been recognised by Tennis Lancashire is a fantastic moment for me personally and more importantly collectively for Stonyhurst."

Stonyhurst’s vast facilities paired with remarkable coaching have attracted a cohort of national and regional standard players over the years, including sisters Hima and Ella, who have both been invited to represent Lancashire Ladies Tennis.

A Stonyhurst tennis player serving in the school's new Tennis Dome

Stonyhurst’s Tennis Academy caters for all abilities and all ages, from Early Years through to Sixth Form, and has grown significantly over the last three years, despite the challenges presented by the pandemic.

The school adds that their ambition now is to challenge with other leading tennis schools such as Somerset's Millfield School, Surrey's Reeds School and Culford School in Suffolk.

Stonyhurst tennis players being coached by Liz Thomas.