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Ashville College Wins County LTA Tennis Award

Published by Ashville College on Wednesday 8th of February 2023

Ashville College in Harrogate has been named ‘Yorkshire School of the Year’ in the county round of the LTA Tennis Awards 2023.

 A judging panel from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and Yorkshire Tennis selected Ashville for the significant opportunities in tennis it provides to children and young people from Ashville and the wider community. Ashville was chosen from a strong field of nominees, including Bradford Grammar School and St Peter’s School, York, which were both Highly Commended.

 The College was recognised for its delivery of tennis in a fun and accessible way via the curriculum, out of school hours opportunities, competitive intra/inter opportunities for pupils, and strong and sustainable links with local LTA-accredited providers.

 Ashville’s tennis provision is led by Sophie Cousins, an LTA-accredited coach and former GB player. All pupils up to Year 10 play some form of tennis over the course of an academic year, across 15 indoor and outdoor courts. They can play tennis through the curriculum (tennis fundamentals are taught from Reception age upwards, progressing to Mini Tennis and Tennis throughout Prep School), the Co-Curricular Programme, and a competitive programme comprising House tennis, social tournaments, weekly match practice, and weekend fixtures.

 The latter include Harrogate’s Division 2 Schools Tennis fixtures, where matches are played as clusters rather than individually so the pupils can play more tennis in a fun team format. Nine local schools access this competition, which sees 60 players playing doubles over the 15 courts.

 Ashville supports several of its pupils who are on the County and Regional Training programmes and more recently a player on the National pathway, with Sophie supplementing his school programme with extra lessons.

 Also recognised was Ashville’s ten-year link with Angela Crossley Tennis Coaching (ACTC), which supports both curriculum and after-school competitions, and provides a pathway into club tennis for pupils keen to progress outside of school.

 The award win is a first for Ashville, which seven years ago shifted from offering rounders to offering tennis as a main School sport due to its status as a ‘sport for life’ for players of all ages.

 Sophie Cousins, Head of Tennis, said: “It’s fantastic for Ashville to be recognised with this award, which is the culmination of nine years’ worth of work and a reward for the whole PE team at Ashville, who are all on board to encourage the participation of significant numbers of pupils to play and enjoy tennis.

 “For those stronger players who wish to pursue tennis competitively, we have built a strong network across our area, such as ACTC, David Lloyd and Harrogate Racquets to provide those next crucial steps in their development.”

 Rhiannon Wilkinson, Head of Ashville College, said: “We are proud of the sporting opportunities and variety we offer to our pupils, and the calibre of our PE and Games teachers, who include former professional players like Miss Cousins. To see Tennis, which is one of our main sports in the Spring and Summer, recognised with an award like this, and to be in the running for the regional awards in April, I feel only confirms our position as one of the Harrogate district’s leading schools for sport.”

Ashville College Wins County LTA Tennis Award  - Photo 1
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