St Paul’s Way Trust School has been crowned a national winner at the prestigious LTA Tennis Awards for their creativity in getting children active in the capital.

Based in Tower Hamlets, the school and their tennis coach Christine Dransfield scooped the LTA’s School of the Year Award after being recognised for its inspirational work.

The school were fervent proponents of teamwork and leadership and helped ensure the continuation of tennis through multiple ways, shapes and forms throughout the last year.

They were announced as the winner by Lucy Shuker, GB wheelchair tennis player and LTA Youth Ambassador, at the live-streamed awards ceremony presented by LTA Head of Men’s tennis and Great Britain’s Davis Cup captain Leon Smith OBE and Christine Dransfield, a coach at the school, said: “We provided loads of different activities online and then when tennis was opened up, we were able to run tennis camps in really small bubbles so they could come in and spend time with me. 

“Initially it was very hard as we had lots of students who were living in flats without gardens or in multi-generational households, but especially after lockdown, it was important to get them communicating again and it was important to improve their physical and mental health. 

“We’re so proud and it’s a big achievement – we’ve been here for nine years and for us to build up a programme that’s become an integral part of the school was really exciting. 

“We were so proud – everyone was so happy, it’s something the students can be proud of and it also attracts players and future students to come join a great tennis school.”  

The LTA Tennis Awards are now in their sixth year and celebrate the achievements and contributions of outstanding tennis volunteers, coaches, officials, venues and players across the country.

And they were hand-picked as one of 16 national winners recognised at the awards ceremony last week, which honoured individuals involved in tennis at grassroots, county, regional and national level.

Nominations were drawn from over 25,000 volunteers, nearly 5,000 coaches and 1,000 officials, 22,000 schools, nearly 3,000 clubs and over 9,000 LTA approved tournaments, with St Paul’s Way Trust recognised for its inspirational work in the London region.

Despite the restrictions of lockdown, St Paul’s Way Trust have adopted innovative digital methods to ensure tennis continued and ensured pupils were able to remain capable of enhancing their skills throughout the last 12 months. The school works with Greenhouse Sports to deliver tennis activity as part of a joint project with the LTA.

They showed great creativity during lockdown as coach Christine Dransfield set up online activities linking schoolwork to tennis and made videos to help parents keep their young children active. Christine is passionate about inspiring women and girls from ethnically diverse communities in particular to play tennis, many who may otherwise not play.

The quality and quantity of the nominations demonstrate outstanding work that has been done in tennis through the pandemic and David Rawlinson, LTA President, said: “The LTA Tennis Awards are a real celebration of the people that make our sport thrive.

“They celebrate the achievements made by outstanding volunteers, coaches, officials, venues and players, who are all vital in helping us to grow the game.

“The past year has been challenging for everyone, but to see the tremendous positive contributions the nominees have made to the sport and to their communities has been tremendously uplifting.”

To find out more information about the LTA Tennis Awards or for information on how to play, coach, volunteer or officiate in tennis, head to