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Teresa Catlin takes over as Cambridge Lawn Tennis Club manager

Teresa Catlin, left, takes the reins from James Mills at Cambridge Lawn Tennis Club
Teresa Catlin, left, takes the reins from James Mills at Cambridge Lawn Tennis Club

World champion Teresa Catlin is giving up her crown to take on a very different challenge.

The defending over-50 women’s singles and doubles champion has not entered the 2020 individual competition in Florida in May – after accepting the role as Cambridge Lawn Tennis Club’s new manager, opting to return early from America to focus on her new job.

However, she will still compete for Great Britain in the 50+ world team championships in Boca Raton.

Catlin replaced James Mills on March 1 as he moved to another tennis management role in London after almost 12 years at Cambridge.

Management marks a major change of direction for Catlin at the club where she started as a junior and returned as a coach 10 years ago, but it is one she is excited about.

“Having spent 10 years at the club I feel in a good position to take on the role,” said Catlin, who plans to put some of the lessons learned from her recently completed LTA Level 5 Club Coach qualification to good use.

“People are familiar with me and my transition to manager should mean that the good work that James Mills has done will continue with minimal disruption.”

Previously head coach and tennis development manager of the Northern Tennis Club in Manchester which she helped develop into the biggest club in the area with indoor courts, she would love to help achieve something similar at Cambridge. That, however, is a much longer-term plan.

Short-term, Catlin intends to work round the summer court requirements for eight men’s, seven ladies plus various mixed and veteran teams as well as the national team tennis competition to try to offer better continuity for all members of every age and ability, with emphasis on encouraging more women and younger children into the coaching programme and club membership.

Cambridge LTC, in partnership with Hills Road Tennis Centre, is the Local Player Development Centre. As well as providing a club and performance coaching programme, the aim is to increase the playing numbers by hosting open days and going into local schools, encouraging others to take the same path Catlin took between club and county - which is still run by Sue Rich, her coach as a junior and also head coach at Cambridge.

To that end, Richard Bragg, another of the Cambridge coaches, has already started a performance group and individuals that are on the performance pathway.

A clear way forward is also something Catlin wants for adults - often just playing for fun, fitness and friendship – and her aim is to get more seniors playing competitively on the GB Seniors 35+ tournament circuit.

“The GB Seniors circuit is a fantastic way to challenge yourself and meet new like-minded friends from around the country. They are not a scary as you might think and are aimed at all levels from Grade 4 up to Grade 1 and the National Championships,” said Catlin, who retained her British Indoor 50+ title earlier in the year.

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