Tennis prodigy Heidi Cornwall lived out a childhood dream of sharing the stage with Laura Robson as she was named as the LTA’s Rising Star of 2024.  

The annual LTA Tennis Awards, presented by Lexus, highlight and celebrate the incredible achievements and contributions of people in tennis across Britain.  

Held at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, Cornwall, 22, was presented with the Rising Star Award after her tireless work at Theydon Bois tennis club, acting as assistant coach while also doing endless hours of volunteer work.  

Recognised and hailed for years of graft, to be bestowed the honour by idol and former British number one Robson would act as the cherry on the cake for Cornwall.  

She said: “I've grown up watching Laura Robson. I remember when watching tennis as a kid, she was always the first one you watched, and I could relate to her.  

“She's just that person who's always been part of British tennis for me, alongside the likes of Johanna Konta and Heather Watson as well.   

“It's quite surreal to stand next to her and to have her present my award is quite special.”  

First launched in 2015 with the help of former LTA president Cathie Sabin OBE, the LTA Awards recognise the vital work of not just players, coaches and officials, but also of volunteers that have dedicated their precious time and energy to the continual development and growth of the sport.  

While a talented player herself, Cornwall has become entrenched within Theydon Bois as an invaluable volunteer - overseeing maintenance, organising and running events at the club, as well as running much of the club’s website and social media.  

She is also a trailblazer at her club, running the LTA Prime girls’ initiative which has seen over 15 new girls complete the course and integrate into Theydon Bois.  

With an undying love for grassroots tennis, Cornwall, from Loughton, insists that clubs are to a large extent shaped by their volunteers.  

“Volunteers are what make clubs, especially like my grassroots club,” she added. “Our whole committee of 12 people are all pretty much volunteers.   

“The people that volunteer and put their time into the club makes the club what it is at the end of the day.  

“It started off as a hobby and now it's become my job, and the volunteering side is just part of what I do because I love the sport and I love seeing everyone get involved as much as possible.”  

LTA President Sandi Procter said: “The ceremony has been a tremendous celebration of the people that make our sport so special.   

“The incredible stories behind the finalists are so heart-warming to hear. The hard work and dedication of all the winners and runners-up too is unbelievable, and I am always so impressed by the selfless sacrifice of all the volunteers, officials, and coaches.   

“I have always been passionate about the grassroots and the awards are our way of highlighting the extraordinary contribution of the individuals and venues that help us open tennis up bringing new players and fans to the game.’’ 

The annual LTA Tennis Awards, presented by Lexus.