Words: Simon Paterson
Images: Chesterfield Lawn Tennis Club
This month’s S41 Local Hero is a bit of a buddy of mine, so I was dead chuffed for him when he was nominated.
Andy Bell isn’t just any old tennis coach, he is the ‘Derbyshire Disability Tennis Coach of the year’ and because of his hard work and dedication, Chesterfield Lawn Tennis Club have won the Disability Tennis Programme of the year award.
Andy has won this award before, in fact, he has won it for four years in a row and I for one feel this needs shouting about, very loudly, so the whole of Chesterfield can hear it!
Andy has been an important member of the coaching team for well over ten year’s now. During his time, he has introduced 100’s of individuals of all ages and abilities to the wonderful sport of tennis and the fantastic community that comes along with it.
I joined the club in 2015 after a twenty-year hiatus from the sport. Andy was the first person that spoke to me on my return, he’s the first person that speaks to everyone at the club, he is a natural people person, a natural communicator who always has a smile on his face, even in January when it’s cobbing it down, he will always shout “ay-up”.
Andy has played a huge part in the management of the clubs coaching programmes over the years, none more so than the disability tennis programme. Andy’s leadership has seen the programme grow exponentially over the past few years. Every session he delivers is fully inclusive and tailored to everyone. He understands the complex needs of all his pupils and accommodates them perfectly.
This summer, as a result of her hard-work, dedication and talent, local girl Sophie Widdowson will represent Great Britain in the Special Olympics as part of their team. Andy’s disability tennis programme has provided Sophie with this amazing platform. Sophie, we will interview you very soon and go get ‘em girl.
Andy Bell you are this month’s S41 Local Hero, take a bow my friend!