Introducing Tom Lemon


Tell us who you are and your tennis background to date?

I started tennis at 14 and got to a 5.1 rating, mainly playing club doubles winning the Division 1 Bolton League, Mens, Mixed and Winter League.  I began coaching at 16 and went on to get my Bsc (Hons) in Sports Coaching from Leeds Met University. I worked at Virgin Active before becoming Head Coach at Holcombe Brook Sports Club which is where I am based now.  I also ran competitions alongside this gaining my R3 qualification and being awarded Lancashire 2017 Competition Organiser of the year and Lancashire 2018 Coach of the year. 

I started running matchplays at David Lloyd before moving to Virgin Active. Here I introduced and developed a competition programme from nothing, to eventually having matchplays for players rated 10.2-3.1, running three week-long Grade 4 events with entries close to 200 players, numerous county tours and a Grade 3 event (The North of England Championships).  I still run the competition programme here (now David Lloyd North Manchester) as well as at Holcombe Brook and LTA events, most recently the 12U County Cup. 

What would you say is your refereeing style and what do you enjoy most about it?

I would like to think I am relaxed and approachable as a referee and I see the job as creating an enjoyable environment for everyone.  I really enjoy the mini events as it is great to see the younger children competing and making new friends through tennis.   

Can you tell us about the LTA Refereeing Development Group you are a part of and what are your future aspirations within tennis officiating?

It was a big honour to be asked to be part of this group, being a part of it helped me prepare for and pass my R3 exam. I also gained a lot of confidence and clarity on my refereeing so I could better goal set and be selected for events such as the County Cup and become a better referee. 

Currently the highest level of competition I have run is 12U County Cup. My aim is to work at a higher level such as junior internationals.  I hope to be able to focus more on my refereeing over winter especially and gain my R2 so I can work at higher level competitions. 

Who’s your favourite player and your favourite tournament to watch or referee at?

I would have to say Roger Federer is my favourite player and the ATP World Tour Finals is my favourite event. I was lucky enough to see Federer play live twice and once in the ATP World Tour Final - he just makes tennis look effortless

What are you most looking forward to most during the week of the Welsh Championships? Have you been practicing your Welsh?

I am looking forward to seeing some great tennis, County week is always fun and has a great atmosphere. I always looked forward to playing in the Lancashire County week when I was younger and I am excited to be part of the Welsh Championships this year. I have not learnt any welsh yet but I will hopefully pick some up during the course of the week!

Can you give us your best (and worst) moment as a referee to date?

My best moments have to be seeing a child win their first tournament and the excitement they get from it. I haven’t had too many bad moments but I would have to say the funniest/bad moment was when we had a leak inside and the court flooded so we actually had a rain delay on an indoor court!