Newly named Sussex Tennis Coach of the Year Tim Cottingham with Sussex Most Improved Junior Female Emily Gordon, who he coaches.

Top awards for Maresfield Tennis Club members

Members of Maresfield Tennis Club won three top awards at a county ceremony on Saturday.

Tim Cottingham won Coach of the Year; the Ladies First Aegon Team won Team of the Year, and 14-year-old Emily Gordon won most improved junior female.

Chair Sharon Critchley said other nominations were received too so it was a fantastic year for the club and it was exciting to see players receiving their awards at The Amex stadium at Brighton.

Proud

She said: “I am really proud of what they have achieved. It is exciting watching players progress. Credit must go to the parents of all our juniors too, who sacrifice weekends and hours at a time, for this all to be possible.”

Sharon said Tim’s award was a huge accolade considering the standard of coaches across East and West Sussex. “He is so respected, everyone knows him.”

She added that Tim started as a member of the club and went on to become a coach, launching Le Tennis, and working to nurture and bring out the best of everyone enabling them to reach their full potential.

Strengths

Sharon said: “Sometimes the juniors that come through become coaches as well. Tim sees people’s strengths and can play to them.

“I wish I had some of his work ethic. He works so hard. Maybe people are working full time and want a lesson before work, so he is here really early. He makes a big difference to a lot of people’s lives.”

Tim said he was overwhelmed to win the award and to hear comments about him on a video shown at the ceremony.

He joined the Maresfield club when he was seven and he values the closeness of the relationship between Le Tennis and the club. “It is a true partnership with a very supportive club committee.”

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Four members of the Maresfield Tennis Club Ladies First Aegon Team who are Sussex Team of the Year. From the left are Kyria Dunford, Emily Gordon (also Most Improved Junior Female), Hollie Irwin and Aziza Auban. Missing from the picture are Jane Lavender and Olivia Stapley.

The ladies’ Aegon team made up of Kyria Dunford, 22, Emily Gordon, 14, Hollie Irwin, 16, Aziza Auban, 15, Jane Lavender 24, and Olivia Stapley, 15, competed for the first time this year in Sussex Division One, won all of their matches and went into the regional play-offs.

They played the winners of Surrey Division 1, St George’s, and won 5-1 and next year will be playing in the regional division following their promotion.

Most improved

Emily Gordon, Most Improved Junior Female, said she started playing at Newick when she was nine before moving to Maresfield where she is coached by Tim Cottingham and Kyria Dunford.

She won the 18 and under, and 14 and under regional in Seaford this year and reached other finals. She had a setback in the summer when she broke her thumb but that is mending well now and she is looking forward to continuing to improve her tennis in the future.

Emily attends Uckfield Community Technology College.

• Contact details for Maresfield Tennis Club are available 24/7 in our Uckfield Directory. Look for the name or search in categories for Tennis or Sport.

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