It hasn’t exactly been ideal tennis weather in recent weeks - though rain isn’t exactly unknown during the Wimbledon Championships - but that hasn’t stopped the new coaching duo at Doncaster’s biggest club serving up some top-class coaching.
“Despite some rainy weather since Easter, we have continued to deliver coaching to 70 players on Saturday mornings and also to our weekday squads and we have had some new additions to our programme this week,” Doncaster LTC coach Liz Beaton told The Star.
The Bessacarr-based club broke with tradition late last year when appointing Liz and Mick Hague as joint head coaches following their decision not to renew the contract of long-serving head coach John Willis.
The committee were impressed by the duo’s ideas for 2012 and beyond, which included plans to incorporate some pre-school coaching into the club’s programme, as well as increasing links with local schools and introducing a class for adult beginners.
Liz, who has regularly partnered Mick to success over the years at both league and club championship level, has delivered “taster tennis” sessions to more than 400 Year 3 and 4 pupils at Bessacarr Primary, Willow, St Joseph’s Rossington, Tickhill Estfeld, Hatchell Wood and Bawtry Mayflower.
The youngsters have all been invited to attend a fun afternoon at the club’s Saxton Avenue base this month and selected players will compete in a Junior Schools’ Tournament there in June, organised by the club and supported by the Yorkshire LTA.
“We have two pre-school tennis squads for three and four-year olds, which are full, and our adult beginners class started this week,” said Liz.
She added: “Our sports camps and matchplay mornings over Easter had a good reception, due to the competitive pricing of £20 for a full day and £10 for a morning, and the enthusiasm of the coaches. We will be repeating these camp formats, together with some pre-school mornings, during the Summer holidays.”
Some of the club’s juniors have also enjoyed some early-season success. Said Liz: “Frazer Fennell represented the county at Under-8 level and Elizabeth Morris recently won the Chesterfield Under-12s Girls tournament. Her brother, Ed, came top of the “Yorkshire county leaderboard” for the spring season at Under 14 level.
“Coached by Mick, these players have shown that extra practice and playing in more competitions pays off.”
Ed is one of a handful of more experienced junior players who, as ‘leaders’ help out the club’s coaches.
The majority of them are expected to take part in the club’s prestigious week-long Spring Open at the end of the month which attracts players from all over the country.”