Heron disability success
THIS year has seen fantastic progress by all the players involved in Heron's Disability Tennis Programme, writes Paul Roberts.
And on Sunday everyone came together to celebrate the fantastic successes and achievements of these players.
It was also a great opportunity for all the players, their parents and other family members to all have a lovely Christmas meal together and build on all the friendships that are growing through this activity.
We all face challenges in our lives and a lot of the players in these groups face tougher ones than many of us.
But seeing the way all the players have approached their tennis over the past year with such a positive and enthusiastic approach is a great example to us all and it was a pleasure for the club to be able to award everyone with their medal and small prize for doing so well.
The event then moved on to the two main awards.
The winner of the Wheelchair player of the year award was Debbie Austen. I can clearly remember my first conversation with Debbie, and her saying that she was keen to have a go, but really didn't think she would be able to get around the court, let alone hit a tennis ball.
Since then she has discovered that she really can do it and has made amazing progress and was a really deserving winner of this year's award.
The final award was for The Heron Sportivate Player of the year and although everyone has done really well, there was one player who has had an outstanding year and the winner was Newquay's Robbie Hampshaw.
Robbie always works incredibly hard in both his lessons and with his practice. He has also shown great improvement in his fitness and movement and has made great progress with his competing too.
This reached a pinnacle with him competing in the national championships earlier in the year where he won a silver medal in the doubles.
A Heron spokesman said: "Seeing Robbie's development both as a tennis player and as a young man is a treat for all of us and we were delighted to have him as our winner.
"Many thanks also go to Steve Hillman, Cornwall's inclusion officer for all the support, effort and time he puts into helping the programme and also to our helpers Beth, Mahala, Ian, Adrian, Dave and finally to all the players and parents for their support."
The disability programme at Heron, which also links very nicely into the regular programme, is open to players of all ages and levels and with all sorts of disabilities.
The spokesman added: "We are always looking to welcome new players who would like to come and try.
"The sessions are on Sundays from 10.30am-11.55am for all disabilities and on Thursdays from 12.00noon-1.15pm for wheelchair players.
"You do not have to be a wheelchair user to play wheelchair tennis. Anyone who might struggle to run after a tennis ball, but is happy to try in a chair, is very welcome.
"So if Robbie or Debbie have inspired you to have a go, or you think you know someone who you think might like to try, please do get in touch with Paul Roberts at Heron on 01637 877 555."
Lostwithiel seniors held their annual dinner and presentation, and captain Brian Cousons, recalled his year as captain, thanking all those who helped him to have a successful campaign.
He handed over to new captain Kevin Flynn, who presented the trophies, helped by Ian Kitt and Peter Skellern.
Awards. Ron Foord Thorphy, Victor Tearle; ARC Cup, Kevin Stone; Phil Eddy Cup, Kevin Stone; Seniors Medal, Walter Birchill; Guest Day, Ian & Dave Kitt; Eclectic Cup, Ed Haradance; Adjustamatic Cup, Kevin Flynn; Medal Group 4, Mike Hartshorn; Player of the year, Ian Kitt; Match player of the year Dick Hobbin.
On Monday, Lostwithiel played a Secret Santa Stableford with a shotgun start, the winners with 68pts each were Nick Horner, Roy McNulty, John Mcpherson and Brian Cussons.
Secret Santa Ray Polgrean gave out the prizes. Merry Christmas and happy new year from Lostwithiel Seniors, and we welcome Mike Davey our new owner.