Top tennis accolade for teacher

Amberfield School's Director of Tennis Kathy Martin has been named the first ever Top Tennis Teacher of the Year by the Suffolk Schools Tennis Association.

Stuart Watson

Amberfield School's Director of Tennis Kathy Martin has been named the first ever Top Tennis Teacher of the Year by the Suffolk Schools Tennis Association.

Having been nominated by the school, Martin received the prestigious new award for her outstanding commitment and enthusiasm towards tennis at the school over the past 12 years.

Former president of Schools Tennis, Bill Curtis presented the award to Martin, hailing her motivation and encouragement of pupils of all ages to take part in the sport.

Martin said: “It was a big surprise, I didn't know anything about it until Bill presented the award during an assembly.

“The children are so dedicated to tennis at Amberfield, I would say about two thirds of the school's pupils play. It's like a bug, the more of them that play, the more that want to play. All the new girls that join the school are anxious to get on a squad.

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“We wouldn't have been able to have the success we have had though if it wasn't for the parents.”

There are now 17 tennis teams at the school, many of whom have achieved a great deal of success at both inter-school and county level.

Amberfield were ranked second out of 66 Suffolk schools at last year's Schools' Individual Cup, an award given by to the school that takes part in the most tennis events and matches. By the end of the year Amberfield had accumulated 51 points both for participation and performance, a tremendous achievement for such a small school.

The school is now currently working towards becoming an LTA affiliated club in order to attract funding for a further two courts and have the opportunity to enter more competitions.

One of the school's most recent tennis success stories is seven year-old Hannah Stokes who has just won two tournaments.

Stokes, one of many Amberfield's mini red tennis players, won her first event at Framlingham College before taking gold the very next day at Next Generation.

Fellow Amberfield pupil Louise Dickman was in the medal positions twice with a bronze and silver. Martin said: “I was delighted with the number of boys and girls who entered the mini series. Hannah played extremely well and it is a fantastic achievement to win two gold medals in one weekend.”

- Amberfield School's under-12 netball team continued their outstanding season recently by winning the Southern Area B Netball Tournament at Hadleigh.

Despite being up against stiff competition, Amberfield won six out of their seven matches. The eight strong squad beat Hadleigh 6-0, Thurleston 4-1, Claydon 4-0, Deben 4-1, Farlingaye 2-1 and East Bergholt 4-2.

PE teacher Sarah Rafferty said: “They have also won all but one match in the league this year. The team have shown commitment throughout the year and fully deserve their success.”

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