Meet the team
The National Academy programme will be led by a team of world class coaches, sport science/medicine practitioners and performance lifestyle and education experts
Director of Tennis
Prior to her appointment as Director of Tennis at Loughborough University in June 2015, Helen worked for the Lawn Tennis Association for over 10 years as National Academy Coach, U14 Great Britain Age Group Captain and the National Girls Junior Coach for the latter 8 years.
Helen is also an experienced presenter and educator; including presenting at Grand Slam Conferences, nationwide delivery of the Female Tennis Journey, Sports Science symposiums, Business of Tennis Conferences and lecturing on Sports Science/Management degrees.
Helen is an LTA Master Performance Coach with a BSc in Sports Science from Loughborough University. Her significant involvement in the world of high performance tennis, in addition to her background as a former professional player enables Helen to bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to the National Tennis Academy. Helen will lead and work with the team to deliver a programme which sets global standards for an individualised and integrated approach to tennis development.
National Academy Head Coach
Nick took up his role as Head Coach of the Loughborough University National Tennis Academy at the start of this year. Nick has previously overseen the progress of ATP players such as Aljaz Bedene and British Davis Cup winner Dominic Inglot. He has also enjoyed great success with British players across the whole pathway in singles and doubles at both senior and junior level.
In his time working with Bedene, Nick oversaw a number of career firsts for the 28 year old. Bedene reached two ATP world tour finals and reached the 3rd round of Wimbledon for the first time, defeating Ivo Karlovic 8-6 in the 5th set in the opening round. During the clay court season, Bedene embarked on a 16 match winning streak, culminating in an appearance in the final of the ATP 250 event in Budapest. In their time working together, Bedene reached a career high ATP world ranking of number 43.
In Nick’s time working with Dominic Inglot, the British Davis cup winner reached the US Open semi-finals, represented GB at the Olympics and reached a career high ranking of world number 18. Inglot also reached the quarter-finals of the Australian Open, defeating the world number 1 team of Bob and Mike Bryan in straight sets in round 3.
Nick is an LTA Master Performance Coach with an undergraduate degree in Psychology. In his role as Head Coach of the Loughborough University National Tennis Academy, he will be delivering an innovative and exciting, pro level training environment which nurtures the person, performer and the tennis player to excel on the international stage.
Performance Advisor – Loughborough University National Tennis Centre
Louis is a world class high performance coach and coach educator, continuing to have and having had unprecedented success with ATP/WTA/ITF singles and doubles players for over 30 years.
- 28 top 50 doubles players ATP/WTA (including 6 world number 1’s)
- Multiple grand slam champions (including British players Jamie Murray and Jonny Marray)
- Olympic Coach for the Men’s doubles Gold medal team in Sydney 2000 (Lareau/Nestor) and Olympic coach for the Beijing, London and Rio Olympic games
- 13 singles players inside the top 100 ATP/WTA, as well as being LTA performance advisor for numerous junior players, senior players and high performance coaches
- Canadian Davis Cup Coach & Captain 1989-2000
- Great Britain Davis Cup Coach since 2007 and Federation Cup Coach for 6 years
Louis is also internationally recognised as a world leading coach educator and presenter, having been an international author, global speaker in over 25 countries, Tennis Canada Coaching Certification Director from 1987-2001 and more recently tutor and content advisor for the Master and Senior Performance Coach courses in Great Britain. Louis was awarded the ITF service to the game in 2011 in recognition of his outstanding contribution to tennis.
Louis will bring this wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Loughborough University National Tennis Academy as the Performance Advisor. He will bring his passion for tennis and developing others to work closely with the coaches, support staff and players to assist Loughborough University National Tennis Academy in achieving its vision; in delivering a world renown player development programme which prioritises the person, performer and player to be the best they can be and succeed on the international stage.
Academy Performance Coach
Joss turned pro at the age of 17 and played professional tennis for 10 years during which time she reached a career high ranking of 67 on the WTA doubles tour, as well as competing in all 4 Grand Slams. She reached the quarter-finals of the Wimbledon mixed doubles event in 2017 and is a Commonwealth Games Gold medallist.
After retiring in 2017, Joss embarked on a performance coaching career, teaming up with the LTA and working with the under 12, under 14 and under 16 National teams and players, helping them to achieve success on the international stage.
Joss was a playing member of the Great Britain Fed Cup team from 2011-2017, playing alongside Johanna Konta, Heather Watson, Katie Boulter and Anne Keothavong to name a few, and since retiring has moved into the Fed Cup coaching team.
Joss is also part of the BT Sport commentary team, staying abreast of the latest developments and what it takes to win at the highest echelon of the sport.
In June of this year, Joss will have completed the Senior Performance Coach Level 4 qualification.
Having been a player, Joss has experienced many of the challenges and opportunities our players will/have faced, this is invaluable to the Loughborough University National Tennis Academy and Joss brings a huge amount of enthusiasm, care and commitment in all that she does.
National Academy Coach
Ivona Horvat was born in Zagreb, Croatia. She played at national and international level in U12, U14 and U16 before turning professional at age 16. Between 1989 and 1995 she won four ITF singles titles and reached a career high ranking of 320 WTA. In doubles she won six ITF titles with a career high ranking of 252 WTA.
Ivona has 25 years of coaching experience. Prior to her appointment as National Academy Coach she worked at Ekero Tennis Club in Sweden for almost two years. Before this she spent 10 years in Istanbul, Turkey working as Academy Coach at Koza Wos International Tennis Academy. This involved coaching and travelling to tournaments with numerous junior players, guiding and helping them to develop on the international scene (ITF, ATP, WTA).
Prior to Turkey, Ivona worked in Croatia. She was a member of the expert committee with Zagreb Tennis Association and shared her experience to the younger generation of players. She was also the National Girls U14 Coach at the Croatian Tennis Association.
Ivona is an A licenced coach at the Croatian Tennis Association, a PTR certified Performance Professional and has a Diploma of Higher Education as senior sports tennis coach from the University of Zagreb Faculty of Kinesiology.
Head of Performance Support
Nathan has moved to the Academy from Loughborough Sport, where he led the support provided to performance athletes and programmes as Head of Performance Support. This multi-sport role primarily involved leading the interdisciplinary support to Loughborough University athletes in seven different areas of expertise, spanning Performance Analysis, Sports Medicine and Physiotherapy, Strength and Conditioning, Physiology, Performance Nutrition, Performance Lifestyle and Psychology. Nathan has learned from, and worked alongside, coaches and support staff from all sports and disciplines to enhance performance, developing effective interdisciplinary teams that function to best serve the athlete, and aligning coaching to sports science and medicine to achieve targeted performance goals. He was also responsible for the development of staff, where he organised and led programmes to enhance the quality of support provided to our athletes.
Previous to his role across all disciplines, Nathan provided physiological support to various programmes across Loughborough Sport. This support included preparing athletes for major competition through heat or altitude acclimatisation, leading physiological testing to support optimal training, and delivering sport-specific conditioning sessions in a number of team, racquet and individual sports. Nathan has also spent his time at Loughborough working with the team to help educate athletes in a number of fundamental areas useful to developing a career in elite sport.
Nathan joined Loughborough University from St George's Park (the FA's National Football Centre), where he worked alongside an interdisciplinary team of experienced practitioners to help set up and establish the sports science and medicine provision for visiting teams, athletes and organisations. Nathan led the sports science provision to the PFA Injury Rehabilitation Scheme which helps professional football players recover from long-term injury. This role included delivery of conditioning sessions, monitoring of training load and enhancing recovery to accelerate return to play of national and international players. Alongside this, Nathan provided support to visiting national and international teams in many areas including environmental physiology, training load monitoring, recovery strategies and performance testing.
Nathan has undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in Sports Science and Physiology, as well as a coaching background. He has spent time, alongside his role at Loughborough, working with England Futsal, supporting the teams during national and international tournaments.
Performance Lifestyle and Education Manager
Prior to taking the role at the Loughborough University National Tennis Academy, Alex worked as a Performance Lifestyle Advisor for the English Institute of Sport for nearly 5 years working across 3 different Olympic and Paralympic programmes in both the Rio and Tokyo cycles. Working as part of the multi-disciplinary team in British Swimming, British Weightlifting & GB Wheelchair Rugby; his role focused on supporting athletes on the World Class Programme with a person-first approach to enable an ability to manage the commitments of an elite lifestyle whilst effectively planning for post-sport careers and performing at the highest level. Most notably, this included being part of the sport science and medicine team that helped contribute to British Swimming’s most successful Olympic performance since 1908; achieving 6 medals at Rio 2016.
A qualified executive coach, Alex previously worked in higher education where he spent time at 2 different universities managing the sport scholarship and TASS programmes and delivering performance lifestyle support for student athletes. These roles involved supporting athletes in the pursuit of academic and sporting success and successfully implementing a recruitment strategy to improve each university’s BUCS performance and sporting profile.
Alex has both an undergraduate and master’s degree in Sports Development whilst also being a qualified hockey coach and recently graduating from GB Hockey’s Advanced Coach Programme. Alongside his work in performance lifestyle, Alex is Assistant Coach to Loughborough Men’s Hockey Programme; one of the leading performance hockey programmes in the U.K, and has previously helped to support and mentor developing coaches within the GB/England Hockey pathway.
Oliver began working in professional sport in 2008, holding positions with Championship football club academies, including leading the first team sports medicine department at one of these. After completing an MSc in Sport Injury he worked for the English Institute of Sport (EIS) supporting Olympic and Paralympic athletes.
During the Rio cycle, Oliver supported British Weightlifting, working with the funded weightlifters and powerlifters who went on to achieve silver and bronze medals at the Paralympic games. In preparation for Tokyo 2020, he transitioned to British Triathlon to support the Olympic physiotherapy programme and led the Paratriathlon physiotherapy service.
In 2018 Oliver was selected as a Physiotherapist for Team England at the Commonwealth Games. He supported the team at the Gold Coast as they secured an overall second place finish with 45 gold, 45 silver and 46 bronze medals. Oliver will combine his role as Physiotherapist at the Loughborough University National Tennis Academy whilst continuing to support the Olympic triathletes from Loughborough.
Andrew is a Sport and Exercise Nutrition registered (SENr) performance nutritionist with 10 years' experience in providing performance nutrition support to athletes. He has previously held performance nutrition roles at Sheffield Hallam University and has further experience as a Sport and Exercise Nutritionist for Swim England, in a number of different disciplines including swimming, synchronised swimming and British Diving.
Prior to beginning his performance nutrition career, Andrew had a successful athletic career of his own which included national medals and international representation. Over the last decade, he has supported athletes who have represented their country at Junior, European, World, Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games across a variety of sports.
In addition to holding a BSc and M.Dip from Sheffield Hallam University, Andrew also holds a Level One Anthropometrist (ISAK Level 1), Level 2 certificate in Food Safety and the UKAD Accredited Anti Doping Advisor Certificate.
Chris is a Professor of Sport Psychology at Loughborough University and a HCPC Registered Sport Psychologist with over 25 years of practitioner experience. A former professional tennis coach and Leicestershire county player, Chris has consulted with a variety of sports, organisations and athletes, however, his passion and expertise are very much tied to the sport that he plays and supporting the development of emerging talent.
Chris has had a unique career working as a leading practitioner, educator and academic scholar. He gained his BSc, MSc and PhD at Loughborough within sport science and psychology, subsequently specialising in optimal environments around young athletes and their development of necessary psychological skills. Seconded from the University for a first time, he held the position of Team Psychologist for Nottingham Forest FC from 2002-2004, and coordinated psychological support for their Youth Academy for a further eight years. His experience and expertise are squarely aligned to the mission, calues and aims of our National Tennis Academy programme.
Chris has integrated psychological support into the programmes of many elite junior and senior tennis players. He has also been a key contributor and driver of sport psychology within coach and parent education in British tennis, championing the importance of the support team around the adolescent player. Seconded for a second time between 2010-2013, Chris served as Lead Psychologist for the Lawn Tennis Association working at the NTC with an emphasis on the performance, wellbeing and life skills of players transitioning into the professional game. These values will reflect important components of Chris' work as part of the ongoing psychological development of our players.
Tennis has always been a passion for Lewis, throughout his education and sporting life. He was a member of the youth team in one of France’s top 15 clubs and was captain of St Marys University BUCS team.
Dissertations for both his BSc in Sports Science (St Marys University) and MSc in Sports Biomechanics (Loughborough University) were focused on tennis. His BSc research was on tennis tactics in elite level tie-breaks, alongside his job as performance analyst for the tennis teams. His MSc project focused around the biomechanics of the serve for elite level wheelchair tennis players. Throughout his education he has mastered gathering data and presenting it to players and coaches in an efficient manner to help enhance performance. In addition to his role at the Centre, Lewis is working with the LTA and Loughborough University towards a PhD centred on biomechanics in tennis.
Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach
Elise began working for Loughborough University as a Junior Strength and Conditioning Coach in 2017 after graduating with a BSc in Sport and Exercise Science. Elise is a UKSCA accredited S & C Coach and recently returned from Singapore after spending a year working with a variety of athletes across a wide range of sports, in addition to working as a Personal Fitness Coach for one of the country's leading fitness companies.
In the past, Elise has participated competitively in a range of sports, most recently in Olympic Weightlifting and Powerlifting.
Elise highly values breadth of experience and believes it is vital for creating a well-rounded coach with all the skills needed to succeed in elite sport. Alongside her role, Elise is currently undertaking a full-time Masters Degree in Strength and Conditioning at Loughborough University.
National Tennis Academy Administrator
Andjelka joined the Tennis Centre at Loughborough University in July 2018 as an Administrator, providing support to the team with all aspects of university tennis provision, in particular the Mini Tennis Programme.
Andjelka has over 20 years of administrative experience with Midlands Electricity plc and Next plc, primarily within Learning and Development. While at Midlands Electricity she was also responsible for Graduate Recruitment and Training, and during her time at Next plc she supported the Retail Apprenticeship Programme for three years.
Andjelka’s involvement in tennis started with her sons playing as juniors, and led to her taking up the sport herself and joining her local club where she is also the fixture secretary.