Leeds Beckett University has been named the LTA’s University of the Year for 2024 as it continues to bolster British tennis with top-level talent.

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, Leeds Beckett beat Cardiff Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester to take the coveted prize.

While hailed for their status as one of the highest-performing sporting universities in the country, they also earned praise for opening up tennis to as many people as possible, with over 150 players integrating into the club over the past year.

And having missed out on the award 12 months ago, ex-student and tennis prodigy Tom Horsfall, 23, was pleasantly surprised to have pipped such strong competition to the crown this time around

“I didn't actually expect to win,” he said. “We were here last year and going up against the competition is always tough.

“Seeing what other universities do, it makes you realise what everyone else in the country is getting up to and how tough it is to win this kind of thing.

“It feels very good. Listening to the other universities, you kind of go ‘maybe next year’ and then you just duck down again. So when your name gets said, it’s very good.”

First launched in 2015 with the help of former LTA president Cathie Sabin OBE, the LTA Awards recognise the vital work of volunteers, coaches, officials, and players dedicating their precious time and energy to the continual development and growth of the sport.

Over the past nine years, the awards have illustrated the depth of service and talent within the tennis community and serve as an inspiration to others to get involved in the game.

With Leeds Beckett helping set the standard in the sport at a university level, Head Tennis Coach Paul Johnson, 31, insists that his club must be accessible to all abilities so to help support tennis as a whole in Britain.

Johnson added: “We work really hard in all areas to try to help British tennis, whether it's junior programme, the RPDC, links with clubs, coach development centre.

“I know we work really hard not only to try to help our teams to do well in the leagues, but to also give back to British tennis. It's great to have the recognition.”

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.