Published: 08:00, 17 June 2020
| Updated: 09:49, 17 June 2020
A desire to leave a legacy for their daughter was at the heart of Clare and Stewart Bristow's LTA Tennis Awards success.
The couple, from Chartham, won the 2020 Competition of the Year award for the South East region owing to the impact of the Sadie Bristow Foundation, a pioneering initiative that held a tennis tournament at The Queen's Club and has reached more than a thousand young people.
The foundation was set up after the death of the couple's daughter, Sadie, who had been a talented, enthusiastic and inspirational tennis player before suffering an anaphylactic shock in 2018 at the age of nine.
Sadie enjoyed considerable success and won a whole host of national competitions – 11 in a row during the 2018 season – and was known for her unwavering passion, dedication and determination both on and off the court.
After the programme founded in her memory was recently recognised in the prestigious LTA Awards, Clare says a commitment to continuing Sadie's enthusiasm was pivotal in its success.
"This is Sadie, her pathway and her passion for the sport – her engagement with her competitors and mentors, her peers," she said.
"The Sadie Bristow Queen's competition is testimony to Sadie and her beliefs, attitude, inspiration –Sadie enjoyed playing in competitions, she loved to help other girls warm up and get them ready for their game, even if it was her opponent.
"Sadie inspired so many people, from adults at her club in awe of her strength and determination, parents of other juniors, and other children who she trained and competed with.
"Her attitude was also about others, and creating a legacy for Sadie and inspiring others is so important to us.
"We are extremely proud of Sadie and her achievements - both her ethos and our own makes winning the award very precious and humbling."
Over 70 inspirational individuals and venues across Great Britain were named as regional winners of this year’s LTA Tennis Awards.
Successful regional winners progress through to the LTA's National finals in each of their respective categories, with the foundation's accomplishments to be judged alongside the best in the country. The national shortlist is due to be announced this month.
LTA Chief Executive Scott Lloyd said: "These awards acknowledge the extraordinary contribution of the individuals and venues that help us open tennis up, bringing new fans and players to our sport.
"Now more than ever, it is important we celebrate their contributions and hope that tennis can rally together to get through this very challenging time."
Launched in 2015, the LTA Tennis Awards serve to acknowledge the many thousands of individuals involved in tennis – from the 25,000 volunteers, to the 4,400 coaches and 940 officials, as well as the 20,000 schools, 2,700 clubs and over 9,700 LTA approved tournaments across the country.
Now in their fifth year, a record number of 2,100 nominations were received nationally for this year's awards.
For more information about the work the LTA is doing to grow tennis in Britain click this link.
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