Stamford Tennis Club is celebrating the most successful season in its history. topped by the men’s first team capturing the prestigious Peterborough & District Summer League Division One title for the first time and junior members securing national and county recognition.
So often the runners-up to Peterborough-based Virgin Active A (previously known as Esporta and Eastways), Stamford men’s A team turned the tables on their arch nemesis in 2012 to be the tennis titans of the area.
The regular team of six - Alex Smith, Ashley Martin, Justin Boughey, Marc Sumner, Martin Trawford, and Will Ramsay - was supplemented by captain Nick Crowson, club coach Ralph Clarke and Claude Badowski.
Crowson said: “It is a fantastic achievement as Virgin Active A, in their various guises, have won the title for almost 20 years in succession. We have battled away in the League for many seasons and have historically always been a few points short. However, this year we managed to turn the tables and clinch the trophy by a handful of points.”
There was also League success for Stamford E as the team clinched the Division Four title to secure promotion.
The club, which is based in Conduit Road, was founded in 1993, so as it gears up to celebrate its 20th year it can also reflect on success in the 2012 season in the Huntingdon and Peterborough League.
Four of the club’s teams won their respective divisions with top honours going to the mixed A team, which won Division One. Additionally, the mixed B team won Division Two, the mixed D team Division Five and the mixed C team earned promotion from Division Three after finishing runners-up.
Further, the Men’s A team will return to Division One next season after winning Division Two having been relegated the previous year and the ladies’ B and C teams secured promotion from Divisions Two and Four respectively.
Finally, the club won the Plate competition in the League’s knockout Don Brace Cup for the second year in succession.
The club continues to have a flourishing junior section and this year Felix Beech, William Barker and Charlie James all represented their counties. Additionally, James won the Cambridgeshire U12 County Championship and competed in the British National Championships in Bournemouth, while Issy Chedd proved too strong for the adults in winning the Ladies Club Championship.
The club’s strength in depth is underlined by Joe Chedd and William Bourne along with Issy Chedd, Beech and James being integrated into adult match-playing teams. It is expected that both Bourne and Beech will be featuring in men’s A team matches next year as the squad looks to defend its hard won title.
Senior Club coach Ralph Clarke said: “As the club looks forward to celebrating its 20th year in 2013 it can look back on an incredible trophy-winning 2012. A flourishing junior development programme is in place and its impact is being reflected as an increasing number of youngsters are winning the right to play in teams competing at different levels in local leagues and winning county and national selection.”
The club’s development programme is headed up by Clarke with a coaching team of Carole Wilson, Dan Potter, Nick Crowson, Will Rowley and Gennaro Vigleone.
Potter is currently delivering free tennis coaching in schools in Stamford in the hope of riding on the back of the club’s success as well as increased interest in tennis following top British player Andy Murray’s success in winning the gold medal at the London Olympics and clinching the US Open title this year. Importantly, added Clarke,it could be a chance to get more girls playing tennis with Britain’s leading players Heather Watson and Laura Robson entering the world’s top 50.
Adult ‘rusty rackets’, adult intermediate, cardio tennis, junior and mini tennis (from four years old) coaching takes place every day at the club with the first lesson free for new players. Contact Carole Wilson 07939 095713 or Ralph Clarke 07866 433605 for further information.