began my tennis coaching career whilst in my first year at Leeds Metropolitan University. By the time I graduated I had my Level 3 – Coaching Qualification under my belt and got my coaching experience at the University tennis centre and David Lloyds Centre in Leeds.
After graduating in Sport and Exercise Science I trained and played full-time tennis for 6 months in preparation for the Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia 2005. After this I completed my Level 4 – Senior performance coach qualification.
Lewis and I have been at Ramsbury Tennis Club since September 2006 which is our main base. We have associations with Bedwyn Tennis Club and local schools where we run programmes and courses for all those interested. We also have close links with the County and work for them from time to time.
We have both produced county and national players. I started playing tennis at 12 and as a junior I was part of the Lincolnshire County Team and continued playing for them in the Ladies County Team, captaining for them on occasion. Whilst at university I had a tennis scholarship at the Carnegie Sports Centre (part of LMU) for 2 years and represented the university team.
Since 1996 I have been a part of the Great Britain Deaf Squad. National singles champion for 7 years, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009 & 2012. Doubles champion for 7 years – 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2013 and Lewis and I won the mixed title in 2007, 2009 & 2013.
Internationally my career highlights were winning the British Open in 2002; winning the Maere Cup in 2003 (deaf tennis version of Fed Cup), silver at the 2004 Europeans, Bronze at the 2005 Deaflympics for Ladies doubles and Gold in the 2009 Deaflympics in the mixed doubles. After the Deaflympics at the start of 2010 I went onto to complete my SPC Award. In this same year I was named Team of the Year at the inaugural Deaf Sports Personality of the Year Awards. I had a year off in 2011 from deaf tennis and the following year in 2012 I won the Nationals in the singles and doubles and was the runner up in the mixed with Lewis. Following this we won the Bronze in the Europeans in Germany, I also got the Silver in the Ladies doubles.
In April 2013 I took on a new role as the Great Britain National Deaf Coach working on behalf of the Tennis Foundation, more recently under the umbrella of the LTA. Lewis works closely with me in this role. In the same year I won the ladies doubles and mixed doubles with Lewis at the Nationals. At the Deaflympics in Bulgaria I reached the semi’s for all 3 events as a player. Now I remain involved in Deaf Tennis as the Great Britain National coach and I absolutely love it and have such a passion for it!
In my coaching capacity I have led the team and we have enjoyed the following successes: –
Gold in the Boys Singles and Bronze in the Girls Singles at the 2015 World Deaf Tennis Championships in Nottingham.
6 Medals at the European Deaf Tennis Championships 2016 in Portoroz, Slovenia (Gold in the Junior Mixed; Silver in the Girls Singles, Girls Doubles and Boys Doubles & Bronze in the Men’s Doubles & Junior Singles).
Gold Medallists at Slovenian Open (Singles and Doubles) followed by Silver Medallists at the World Team Cup (Men) in Antalya, Turkey 2018.
1 Gold. 3 Silver and 1 Bronze medal at the World Deaf Tennis Championships in Antalya, 2019.
Seven-times Ladies’ Singles National Deaf Tennis Champion
Seven-times Ladies’ Doubles National Deaf Tennis Champion
Gold Medal Mixed Doubles 2009 Deaflympics in Taipei, Taiwan
Bronze Medal Ladies’ Doubles 2005 Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia
Three-times Mixed Doubles National Deaf Tennis Champion
My career highlights are winning Silver in the Mens doubles at the Worlds in Turkey 2018. Prior to that knocking out the No. 2 seed in my first Deaflympics in Taipei, Taiwan (2009), plus reaching bronze play off in the mens doubles, representing my country for numerous years, most recently at the Dresse & Maere Cup.
the right shots…
Lewis and Catherine have a huge passion for tennis, this shows in the way they play and in the way they coach. They both take a lot of pride in trying to offer opportunities for all levels helping you not only improve your game but also to enjoy it. The level they have reached as players gives them a huge amount of expertise and experience. Above all they both really care about their players as individuals.
Lewis and Catherine have made a very positive impact on tennis in Wiltshire over the past 12 years and the LTA is delighted that their programme continues to grow and more people within the local community have the opportunity to experience the wonderful sport of tennis.
Lewis and Catherine are fantastic tennis role models and wonderful Deaflympic athletes. I have no hesitation in recommending their coaching services to players of all ages and standards, from those wishing to participate occasionally to aspiring young champions.
Tennis Xperience has helped us to recognise the potential of our 8 year-old son and facilitated us with their invaluable insights to help him in growing his skills, confidence and court manners. Our son is passionate about becoming the best tennis player and absolutely loves the training opportunities with Catherine and Lewis who show their great patience to children and understand each child’s different learning styles and needs. They make our tennis learning full of fun, challenging and rewarding. We are very lucky have the best tennis coaches just right next to our door steps in our village.
Lewis and Catherine have been very stalwart ambassadors for deaf tennis representing GB on many occasions very successfully. They are young and enthusiastic coaches who will inspire many more people to get involved in tennis and allow them to meet new people and have fun. I wish them well in their coaching careers and hope they can continue to mix that with further representations at international level.
I have been involved with the Ramsbury Tennis Club since its formation over thirty years ago and now it is a very successful club. Lewis and Catherine, our coaches, are of the highest standard – one only has to look at the faces of both children and adults they are coaching to see how much pleasure they are getting from their lessons. The improvement in the players is a joy to see.
Employing Catherine and Lewis, as Head Coaches to Ramsbury Tennis Club, was an inspired move. Since the appointment the junior membership has not only increased but the overall standard of play has increased and many more players are keen to get involved. Their knowledge of the game and standard of instruction is as good as it gets.
Their energy and enthusiasm is boundless. Combined with their keen sense of loyalty and professionalism is a love of the game of tennis which they freely pass onto the people they coach. It is rare to meet people who are at the top of their own game and have the ability to switch instantly from top level personal training to working with 5 year old beginners – always smiling and never downhearted.
Since Catherine and Lewis took over the junior coaching at Bedwyn the juniors have gone from strength to strength. We have over 70 children now attending coaching sessions and Catherine and Lewis organise everything from ensuring they have the best equipment to arranging junior matches for some of the players. The children really enjoy the coaching sessions and Lewis and Catherine keep them motivated and enthusiastic. I do not know what Bedwyn Tennis Club would do without them both.
Lewis and Catherine have coached Sam from toddler through to a competent junior player in group sessions at Ramsbury Tennis Club, at Primary School and in individual sessions. Their talents as Coaches are exceptional – technically, tactically and mentally. They observe and tweak and coach the smallest of details and make the biggest of differences. They’re always professional, passionate about their tennis and their coaching always has the individual player’s best interests at the centre.
I like my lessons with Lewis. He teaches me lots of things and explains things really well. Sometimes I have to think a lot when he teaches me new stuff and asks me questions. He always makes me work hard and my lessons are always fun and Lewis is a bit cheeky. Sometimes I even make Lewis work hard now too because he’s taught me to play better and better. That’s his job. To make me the best I can be.
Catherine and Lewis’s coaching style and ability is truly extraordinary. Both of them have been crucial in my development as a player and also a coach. Their knowledge is second to none and I wouldn’t be the player I am today without them. They have taken me from being a orange ball mini tennis player all the way up to competing at the National Tennis Centre in London. I cannot recommend their commitment and passion enough within the tennis industry.
It’s been my great pleasure to follow Catherine and Lewis for 15+ years through their development as players, to competing with great distinction on an international stage for Great Britain, gaining their coaching qualifications and going on to develop their own coaching business. They approach their coaching with the same dedication and attention to detail they need to perform as international players and I can think of no better role models for deaf or hearing players of all ages.
Catherine and Lewis are an inspiration to deaf tennis and good role models for other deaf tennis players who may be seriously considering following their paths in becoming coaches.
Tennis with Lewis…it’s fun, it’s hard work, it’s frustrating when I can’t “connect” but I just LOVE it! Lewis has taught me for a few years now and has (most of the time!) managed to change my whole approach, as well as learning a lot about strategy and techniques we have had many a chat about how to process the frustration when it doesn’t go well and just get back to it and try to make the next shot as good as it can be.
Lewis and Catherine have been my tennis coaches for many years now and the lessons are always enjoyable, humorous and fun. They are both very inspiring to be around, teaching me not only tennis skills but life and mind set skills too. They have helped me become a much more confident player and my love for tennis started because of them.
Our son George developed a passion for tennis solely because of Lewis and Catherine. He started very young in their group fun lessons and then he pestered us for private lessons which he has loved ever since. Lewis mainly coaches George now and has been an amazing mentor for him over these last few years. We would highly recommend Lewis and Catherine to anyone as tennis and their lessons have been a wonderful part of Georges childhood.
As a coaching team Cathy and Lewis cover all the bases. They bring a unique approach to tennis based on extensive coaching and playing experience at all levels of tennis. I have personally worked with the Fletchers as players and coaches at both development and international level. Passion and commitment combined with their personal journeys as coaches and players means that anyone who chooses to step on a court with them cannot fail to be inspired, educated and enthused
My daughter loves attending junior classes at Ramsbury tennis courts run by Tennis Xperience UK. She looks forward to attending every week, no matter what the weather. In a few short months the tennis classes have really helped to build up her confidence and she already feels comfortable alongside the other children in the class. The classes are tailored for your child alongside the more formal tennis tuition. Each week Lewis and Catherine try to vary the class to ensure the children remain keen and focused and they clearly love working with children and in return they get the respect of the children they are coaching.
The team at Ramsbury have been coaching our two sons for a couple of years now. Our eldest, who is nine, has come on leaps and bounds since the initial beginner sessions to a point where is is now competing regularly in tournaments. Aside from the structured lessons and excellent technical coaching from Lewis and Catherine, it is probably his mindset where we have seen the biggest improvements, from gaining in confidence to taking responsibility for both his preparation and post game analysis.
Lewis supported Sam as he entered the competitive tennis environment, providing structure and focus to his development, setting clear objectives, providing practical advice in the lead up to tournaments and guiding and advising us as parents. Both Lewis and Catherine’s roles in Team GB tennis have enriched Sam’s playing experience and provided active role models in the game as well as bringing up-to-the-minute sports science insight. We feel so fortunate to have found Lewis and Catherine.
Lewis also teaches our children aged 10 and 12, they started with group lessons when they were little and loved their weekly hour of fun with their friends without really realising how much technique they were also learning. Now they both really enjoy it as a game and play well within their pier groups and in their teams at school. More importantly, over the years their tennis coaching has taught them to be resilient, to deal with disappointment and to realise that it can take years of hard work to develop skills. One day they will understand that Lewis has been teaching them a myriad of “life lessons” over the years and how truly lucky they have been to have him as their coach.
Our younger son, who is six, attends the group classes, but also particularly enjoys the one-two-one sessions with Neil. Again, highly structured, Neil gets to know the children he coaches and adapts the class and his approach accordingly. Neil shows an incredible amount of patience and really helps focus our son for the full hour.