Meet the NOLTC Members – Tom Francis

30 June 2020, by Chrissie Martin

Following on from our Meet the Committee pieces of the last few months, it’s now time to meet some of the people at the club who work hard to support and promote the club in different ways. We’ll start with someone who is not only at the club almost all the time in a coaching capacity, but who also organises the fabulous tournaments that take place on our courts


Tell us about your tennis life

I started playing short tennis at the age of 6-years old, only a decent volley away from North Oxford LTC at Kidlington & Gosford Sports Centre. I have been coaching at North Oxford for 10 years. Although I play for another club I still enjoy the successes North Oxford have up and down the divisions. We are lucky to have such a great team of coaches, along with our fantastic members, making this a great place to work!

What does your role involve?

As senior coach and competitions manager I am involved in delivering on court sessions for both juniors and adults of all abilities. I also help players and parents understand the competition pathway and also look after our internal and external tournaments / match plays at the club. In recent times I have taken on some coach education, helping aspiring young coaches take their first formal qualification.

What’s the best thing about NOLTC?

NOLTC is the biggest and best club in the county, there is something for everyone whether you are looking to socialise, improve or compete. We are very lucky to have some fantastic facilities and are privileged to host some high level events like the Tier 1 British Tour.

What other sports do you enjoy?

Anything involving a ball! Squash, football, rugby, snooker/pool amongst others. I watch any sport on the TV, and am trying to understand American Football. At university I played in the football and tennis teams, and also played the occasional match for the cricket team when they were short. One sport that I enjoy but want to get better at is golf, I have golf lessons at a club near my home. That feeling when you strike the ball cleanly and it goes straight !

What is your favourite film?

The Shawshank Redemption – Morgan Freeman, what a voice, what an actor.

What is your signature dish?

It’s a tough one, but it would have to be spaghetti bolognese.  During lockdown I have had more time to cook which has allowed me to experiment with different dishes, some successful but mostly not! Baking is not a forte but if the lockdown continues I may explore this a little more.

What was the first band/singer you saw live?

I haven’t been to many live gigs but the first band I did manage to see was Coldplay (Supported by JayZ) at Old Trafford Cricket Ground years ago, absolutely amazing atmosphere and incredible talent on show. It would be difficult to top that experience.

Where was your most memorable holiday?

This would actually be a childhood holiday, my parents WON the top prize in a Selfridges Department Store draw in 1996 which was a 2 week trip to Florida staying in the Ritz Carlton Hotels. We  went to Naples, Amelia Island and Palm Beach as well as to Disney World, Orlando. Such an out-of-this-world memorable experience, we were treated like royalty.

What do you wish for the future of NOLTC?

For the club to continue to be at the forefront of tennis in Oxfordshire and beyond. I hope NOLTC continues to be an inclusive and welcoming club and is not afraid to evolve and develop for the future.

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