Maia Lumsden and Tennis Aces up for awards

Tennis Aces head voach Allwyn Crawford with the Tennis Scotland 2016 Disability Programme of the Year Award
Tennis Aces head voach Allwyn Crawford with the Tennis Scotland 2016 Disability Programme of the Year Award

Lenzie tennis player Maia Lumsden and the Kirkintilloch-based Tennis Aces projects have been shortlisted for to national awards.

Maia is one of four nominees for the International Player of the Year award which will be handed out at a special presentation lunch in Glasgow in May.

The Tennis Aces project is on the shortlist for a Tennis Scotland award

The Tennis Aces project is on the shortlist for a Tennis Scotland award

And the Kirkintilloch-based Tennis Aces project has also been nominated in the Disability Programme Award category, which it also won last year (right).

Maia (20) has been joined on the International Player shortlist by British Davis Cup hero Cameron Norrie, Arbroath’s Jonny O’Mara and Edinburgh’s Scott Duncan.

Last year Maia won two five ITF tournament titles, two in singles and three in doubles.

She won both singles and doubles championships at $15,000 tournaments at Wirral and Sunderland and was also a doubles winner at Hammamet in Tunisia.

Maia Lumsden (pic by Rob Eyton-Jones)

Maia Lumsden (pic by Rob Eyton-Jones)

She also performed superbly in the Wimbledon qualifying tournament, only just losing out to the Czech Republic’s Barbora Krejcikova who was ranked over 500 places above her in the rankings and finished the year just outside the top 100.

Lumsden, who has now broken into the world’s top 500 herself, also started this year on a high note by reaching the final of the $25,000 GB Pro Series event in Glasgow.

The Tennis Aces, based at Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre and run by local coach Allwyn Crawford, was set up in 2015 to provide training and playing opportunities for adults and young people with learning difficulties.

From a small pool of seven players, there are now almost 60 players within the project and 23 volunteers are working towards their Saltire Certificates.

The programme has enabled adults to access a variety of sporting opportunities, including tennis, cycling, basketball and running. In addition, four of its players have gone on to compete and win several medals in both regional disability tennis championships and national disability championships. The group runs a summer and winter programme.

The summer programme involves supporting these individuals to understand and play a game of tennis through short, fun exercises and one-to-one support. The winter programme involves a number of different sports, which has been led by the interests of those who participate. This has included indoor rugby, badminton, table-tennis, basketball and first aid taster sessions.

Coaching takes place at Kirkintilloch Leisure Centre, which has two outside all weather courts, and the project has also set up a link with Milngavie Tennis Club to use five of their courts for their club championships.

Nine participants have gone on to complete their Tennis Leaders Award. This means that these individuals can now support the coach with risk assessments, setting up for sessions and helping out and acting as peer mentors during the activities.

The group has also completed several fundraising events to help sustain the project, including a bag pack, Lenzie Gala Day stall, coffee morning, raffle and triathlon.

For 2018 the group will be working towards charitable status to open up more funding opportunities and grant applications.