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Courier Country tennis stars in the running for national awards

Siobhan MacLeod.
Siobhan MacLeod.

Tennis stars from across Courier Country have been are in the running for national tennis awards.

The Tennis Scotland Awards 2021 nominees were announced this week, to recognise the contribution of individuals, clubs, programmes and competitions which played a key role in helping local tennis to thrive.

Perth and Kinross

Siobhan MacLeod of Kinross has been recognised for her work coaching youngsters and adults in the area.

She teaches people of all ages from three to 78 years old.

Players at Kinross Tennis Club responded to Tennis Scotland’s search for nominees and put forward Siobhan’s name.

She was delighted to have received the email from Tennis Scotland informing her of the nomination.

Siobhan MacLeod at Kinross Tennis.

She told The Courier: “It was lovely to get the nomination.

“I’ve been working really hard over the last couple of years so it’s lovely to get recognition.”

Siobhan is hugely passionate about tennis and believes in the importance of recognising individual players’ abilities.

“I don’t teach tennis, I teach individuals”, she said.

“It’s getting to know the individual player – that’s what I love about coaching.”

Fife

In Fife, Mike Aitken is a finalist in the Lifetime Achievement Award category.

Mike Aitken.

He has made significant contributions to tennis for over three decades, and is currently involved with three Fife clubs: University of St Andrews, St Andrew’s Tennis Club and Falkland Tennis Club.

Katie McKay of Wormit and Newport Tennis Club is in the running for Young Person of the Year for her efforts to engage children in the sport throughout 2020.

Katie McKay.

During the initial lockdown, Katie continued to support the development of local children in the sport.

Her coach Steven Birrell – originally from Broughty Ferry – has also been named as a Development Coach of the Year nominee for his coaching programme as Scotland emerges from coronavirus restrictions.

Steven Birrell.

Meanwhile, St Andrew’s University has been nominated for the prestigious Education Award.

Dundee and Angus

In Dundee, Amanda Barclay of West End Lawn Tennis Club is in the running for the Volunteer of the Year Award, which recognises an outstanding voluntary contribution made to inspire others to participate in the sport.

Representing Angus, Montrose Tennis Club coach Graeme Walker’s efforts in ensuring a safe return to the courts have earned him a spot on the Development Coach of the Year shortlist.

Success stories

Tennis Scotland’s Chief Executive Blane Dodds believes the awards will celebrate the success stories of the past year.

He said: “This year, more than ever before, it feels important to acknowledge exceptional contributions which are being made within our sport.

“With nominations of a particularly high standard, each shortlisted nominee should be very proud of their achievement.”

A total of 27 nominees have been announced across 10 separate categories, with winners securing a place at the LTA British Tennis Awards.

Winners of the Tennis Scotland Awards will be announced online on April 23, with a ceremony to be held at a later date.

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