The Shrewsbury Club successfully hosts Tennis Foundation's National Wheelchair Championships
14th December 2017
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Marc McCarroll and Lauren Jones led the way with impressive victories as The Shrewsbury Club successfully staged the Tennis Foundation’s British Wheelchair National Championships for the first time.

Nearly 70 players made it through the snow from all over the country to compete in the prestigious event, which was held alongside the conclusion of the Roma Sport National Wheelchair Tennis Series Finals.

The Shropshire Wheelchair Tennis Group, based at The Shrewsbury Club, supported the Tennis Foundation to ensure an enjoyable weekend of tennis, from Friday to Sunday, was a big hit.

The local group has developed an impressive reputation for hosting its popular annual tournament, The Shrewsbury Summer Open, and were delighted to be involved.  

The National Championships has been held in Gloucester in recent years.

Val Fisher, from the Shropshire Wheelchair Tennis Group, said: “It was a fantastic weekend to showcase some brilliant tennis. It was a huge honour to welcome Liz Terry and her Tennis Foundation team, who delivered an excellent tournament. 

“The Shrewsbury Club’s staff were amazing. Everyone was so happy and just got on with it despite the tricky weather conditions. It was great to see so many junior players, nearly 20, taking part.

“It was also wonderful that during the course of the weekend our own tournament, The Shrewsbury Summer Open, was named as tournament of the year once again for the National Wheelchair Tennis Series, as voted for by the players.”

McCarroll, from Middlesex, edged out the challenge of fellow Paralympian Dave Phillipson, last year’s champion, to be crowned the winner of the National Championships men’s singles title.

McCarroll and Phillipson joined forces to win the the doubles title.

Jones, from Sussex, was pleased to complete a hat-trick of national women’s singles titles, beating local players Val Fisher and Deena Webster along the way during a faultless display. She added the doubles prize for good measure after teaming up with Suzanne Edwards.

Richard Green won the Quad Nationals and also took the doubles title alongside George Davies.

A bumper entry of junior players descended on The Shrewsbury Club’s indoor courts, with Greg Slade and Megan Bradley coming out on top in Junior National Divisions One and Two respectively.

Asif Abbasi delivered a championship winning performance in the Roma Sports National Series, with the doubles title secured by Philip Fielding and Keith Thom.

The other local players to take part included Shrewsbury’s Kevin Drake, a gold medalist for Great Britain at September’s Invictus Games in Toronto.

Bob Kerr, the chairman of Tennis Shropshire, hailed the event a huge success.

He added: “The Shrewsbury Club is a fabulous venue and the support everyone received from the staff was fantastic. The feedback was excellent.

“A presentation dinner was held on the Saturday evening, which was well supported by nearly 100 people. Marc McCarroll and Dave Phillipson both spoke, as did Geraint Richards, the head of disability player performance at the Tennis Foundation at his final event before leaving the role.

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“The tournament went very well. Some of the players wanted to leave a little bit earlier given the weather as they had considerable distances to travel home, so everyone worked hard to get the matches completed.”  

Dave Courteen, the managing director of The Shrewsbury Club, added the Sundorne Road venue, which has just undergone a £1.4 million refurbishment programme, was delighted to be asked by the Tennis Foundation to stage the event for the first time.

He said: “We pride ourselves on being inclusive and giving everyone the opportunity to be active. It’s great recognition for the club to be recognised by the Tennis Foundation to host its National Championships and our team worked hard to make it a success.

“We look forward to hopefully hosting the event again in the future.”

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