As tennis clubs, players, volunteers and coaches have excitedly awaited the reopening of outdoor tennis today, 29th March – Devon Tennis are celebrating the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) annual award winners from within the county.
Currently in their sixth year, the LTA Tennis Awards celebrate the achievements made by outstanding tennis volunteers, coaches, officials, venues and players in Britain. There are 12 grassroots categories in total, including ‘Young Person of the Year’, ‘Development Coach of the Year’ and ‘Club of the Year’.
Devon Tennis Chairman David Vinall Said: “We are so very lucky in Devon to have 73 registered tennis clubs spread out across our county. Yes, we have the bigger centers Like the South Devon Tennis Centre and Exeter Golf and Country Club, The Atlantic Racquet Centre and Exmouth Tennis Centre. But we also have many small volunteer run clubs in villages and small communities.
The LTA awards gives us an opportunity to celebrate all of the wonderful people who champion our sport, striving year on year to open tennis up to more and more people. From the high performing players to those who want to enjoy a lovely social experience. Thank you to every single one of you, you are doing a cracking job.”
Here are some of this year’s award winners:
Devon’s Community Club of the year is St Budeaux Tennis Club. The Club was set up in 1979, when a local resident Janet Collett thought that better use could be made of the run down, council owned courts in Verna Road. She then approached David Williams as she knew he had been heavily involved in running both the Carhullen and Mannamead Tennis Clubs at the time, and together they approach the City Council.
With a new clubhouse built in 1987 and flood lights added in 1991, the club is now flourishing. Open to all standards of players, the club actively encourages anyone with an interest in tennis to come along. And if we haven’t sold it to you yet, the Club also represents the best value for money Tennis club in Plymouth. A whole family can join and pay for just £120 a year.
Devon’s Volunteer of the Year is Chris Laycock. Chairman of Bovey Tracey Tennis Club. Chris is as enthusiastic and hard-working in 2020 as he was in the first year of this important role five years ago. This year he has surpassed all others in his achievements, though the Club is still reeling from the Club’s award of South West Club of the Year 2020 achieved due in no small part to his efforts. His achievements this year are no less laudable:
He has secured further grant funding for resurfacing the club’s two outside courts. He has enthusiastically encouraged and supported the Club’s team of qualified coaches, resulting in a large increase in membership across all ages, abilities and ethnicities. He has increased the Club’s annual revenue by negotiating with local companies to display their services on boards around the Club on an annual rental basis – to name just a few.
Devon’s Lifetime Achievement Award goes to Peter Coliwill. Peter started his tennis journey in the late 1940s as a teenager, playing with his friends from the Youth Club at Westward Ho!, on any available court, wherever and whenever he was able to. Once he believed his standard of play had progressed sufficiently, he joined Westward Ho! Tennis Club, which had the use of the Northam Town Council courts on a limited number of evenings and part of the weekends.
He was soon involved in playing matches for the club, and when the North Devon LTA created a more formal League competition, he became a regular, and successful, team member. He soon became a part of the Club committee and in 1957 took over as the Club Secretary, a position he held continuously until 1999.
All other county LTA Tennis Award winners, will now be considered for a regional award, and if successful, will be in contention to be crowned an LTA Tennis Award winner in July. (see editors notes for a full list of winners).
In addition to the aforementioned categories, the LTA has also introduced the ‘President’s Award’ for this year, which will be presented at national level, and will be given to an individual or group that has done something exceptional in 2020, which is not covered by existing awards.
Counties can add a nomination for this award when submitting county winner results and other member organisations can also submit nominations for this award by visiting shorturl.at/esCFI
For more information about Tennis across the County visit the new Devon Tennis website: https://clubspark.lta.org.uk/DevonLTA
Got a news story, blog or press release that you’d like to share or want to advertise with us? Contact us