Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament named ‘Competition of the Year’ at LTA Tennis Awards

30/07/2020

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A tournament dubbed the ‘Glastonbury of Tennis’ has hit the perfect note by winning the ‘Competition of the Year’ award at the 2020 LTA Tennis Awards.

One of 18 national winners, the Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament received the Competition of the Year accolade from the governing body for tennis in Britain on account of the outstanding event they hold and their work within the community throughout 2019.

Each year, the LTA delivers just shy of 10,000 recreational competitions via its network of officials, organisers and county associations, with the award paying particular attention to the efforts of volunteers and local venues.

With more than 1,300 entries, the Norfolk tournament boasts some of the highest player rates in the country, while last year they raised £2,000 for a hospice within the area.

This year was also set to be a celebratory one for Hunstanton, with their 100-year anniversary plans put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

But there is now plenty to savour in the centenary, with the competition virtually presented its award by Sally Bolton, CEO of the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

This year has proved very difficult with the COVID 19 situation resulting in the unfortunate cancellation of "Sunny Hunny 2020" in what would have been our 100th Anniversary year, but this sadness has been counteracted by this huge award, an honour we will treasure for years to come.

Speaking about their award win, Secretary Chris Holt commented:

“The annual "Sunny Hunny" tournament in the sleepy backwaters of Norfolk is probably one of the largest one-week tournaments in the country which has grown in popularity over the 45 years that I have been involved.

This very family-orientated tournament owes its success to the very supportive and hard-working Committee, along with the Borough Council of Kings Lynn and West Norfolk, our sponsors, the ever-growing support of the catering and trade stalls and most of all the players, many of whom return year on year. They are all part of the Hunstanton "family".

It’s impossible to explain the feeling when you go out into the sunshine and see all 38 courts packed with youngsters playing and thoroughly enjoying tennis, with the ground packed with parents, grandparents and other supporters.

This year has proved very difficult with the COVID 19 situation resulting in the unfortunate cancellation of "Sunny Hunny 2020" in what would have been our 100th Anniversary year, but this sadness has been counteracted by this huge award, an honour we will treasure for years to come.”

Currently in their fifth year, the LTA Tennis Awards celebrate the achievements made by outstanding tennis volunteers, coaches, officials, venues and players in Britain. To be in contention for the national award, Hunstanton had already claimed the County award for Norfolk and the LTA regional award for Central & East England.

Streamed live on LTA channels and presented by Leon Smith OBE, the national ceremony – which was digital for the first time in the awards’ history – saw Hunstanton pick up their award alongside 17 other national winners, including current British No.1s Dan Evans and Johanna Konta who were named the LTA Men’s and Women’s ‘Player of the Year’ respectively.

This year saw more than 2,000 nominations across grassroots categories including Young Person of the Year and Club of the Year.

Nominations were drawn from more than 25,000 volunteers, 4,400 coaches, 940 officials, 20,000 schools, 2,700 clubs and more than 9,700 LTA approved tournaments, demonstrating the extraordinary contributions of individuals and venues who help to open up the sport and bring new fans and players to the game.

“The LTA Tennis Awards are a real celebration of the people that make our sport thrive,” said LTA president, David Rawlinson. “They celebrate the achievements made by outstanding volunteers, coaches, officials, venues and players, who are all vital in helping us to grow the game.

“To be named a national winner out of over 2,000 public nominations is a fantastic achievement so I’d like to congratulate all of this year’s winners and extend my thanks to each and every one of them for all that they do to help tennis in Britain.”

National Runners Up

East Lothian Open

Scotland's biggest tournament attracting over 500 players of all ages and abilities – with over 1,000 matches played and attracting players from all over the UK, the East Lothian Open is exceptionally organised but most importantly is an inclusive event set in stunning surroundings.

World Transplant Games

Hosted in Britain for the first time, the 2019 World Transplant Games were widely regarded by athletes as the best one yet. The inspirational event featured 400 tennis players and 240 matches - a huge undertaking but, with the support of a legendary team of 85 volunteers, it was a massive success.

LTA Competition of the Year 2020 – National Shortlist

  • Avenue Seniors ITF Tournament in Hampshire
  • East Lothian Open in Scotland
  • Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament in Norfolk
  • Penarth Open Grade 3 in Wales
  • Sadie Bristow Foundation from Kent
  • Shropshire County Championships   
  • World Transplant Games held in Northumberland

To see a full list of winners from the LTA Tennis Awards 2020 click here.

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