British Tennis Awards: Regional winners announced

13/04/2018

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British Tennis Awards

50 volunteers, coaches, officials and venues have been recognised as regional British Tennis Awards winners, for the invaluable role they play in creating opportunies for the nation to get on court. 

The British Tennis Awards celebrate the achievements made by outstanding individuals and venues across the country throughout the past year.

Launched in 2015 with the help of former LTA president Cathie Sabin OBE and Britain’s leading tennis charity the Tennis Foundation, the British Tennis Awards are in place to thank those supporting the grassroots of the game.

A record-breaking total of 1,460 nominations were cast last autumn, before county British Tennis Award winners were named from December to March. Those winners were then whittled down to 50 regional winners.

Volunteer of the Year

East - Tamara Ferguson
South East - Rebecca Ley
South West - Patrick Browne
Midlands - Elaine Ball
North - Zsuzsanna Puskas

Young Volunteer of the Year

East - Archie Horwood
South East - Hollie Irwin
South West - Jessica Barton
Midlands - Bradley Smith
North - Issie Manley-Williams

Coach of the Year

East - Janko Gajdos
South East - Tom Crisp
South West - Ashley Neaves
Midlands - Alex Guzder
North - Ben Bush

Official of the Year

East - Steven Pilcher
South East - Tim Pearce
South West - Jenny Sayer
Midlands - Alice Ene
North - Robert Balmforth

Club of the Year

East - City of Peterborough TC
South East - Avenue Tennis
South West - Ramsbury TC
Midlands - Redditch Tennis Club
North - Skipton Tennis Club

Community Venue of the Year 

East - Wooburn Park
South East - Pavilion Tennis
South West - Totton and Eling Tennis Centre
Midlands - Monkmoor Recreation Ground
North - Fletcher Moss

Competition of the Year

East - Cambridgeshire Festival of Tennis
South East - Cranleigh Grass Court Tennis Festival
South West - Southsea Trophy
Midlands - Tennis Shropshire Fun Competitions 
North - Ilkley Trophy 

Disability Programme of the Year 

East - East Anglia Tennis & Squash
South East - Bromley Tennis Centre
South West - Double Bounce
Midlands - Desford LTC
North - Disability Racket Sports

Education Venue of the Year

East - Thorpe St. Andrew High School
South East - Ellen Wilkinson School for Girls
South West - Balcarras School
Midlands - University of Nottingham
North - Acklam Whin Primary School

Outstanding Achievement 

East - Christine Knight 
South East - John James 
South West - Patricia Smith
Midlands - Helen Buckingham
North - Roger Hughes

All regional, along with Tennis Wales and Tennis Scotland's winners will now be in for a shot to be crowned a national winner in the final stage of the Awards.

The national finalists will be announced in May and June, with the eventual winners being announced at the official Awards Ceremony at The Championships, Wimbledon, July 3.

Discover a snapshot of our 50 incredible regional award-winners with three of their inspirational stories…  

Zsuzsanna Puskas, Volunteer of the Year – North

Zsuzsanna’s support for Thornhill Tennis Club has no limits. From visiting local schools to promote the club, to applying for grant opportunities to improve facilities - Zsuzsanna has it covered!

Her focus on driving membership engagement is second to none; she delivered a dance taster session which kickstarted a new weekly dance club, initiated a ladies tennis morning once a week and launched a rounders club for parents whilst their kids attend coaching sessions.

She coordinates the cleaning of the clubhouse, supports on events such as Great British Tennis Weekend, and organises a number of fundraisers to help families get their kids into tennis at no cost.

And it doesn’t stop there! She secured an LTA coach to run voluntary sessions at a local primary school, coordinated court bookings in the absence of an automatic system and arranged a Monster Smash tournament which involved getting 30 ‘monsters and ghouls’ on court one evening.

Steven Pilcher, Official of the Year – East

Steven’s nomination comes from our reigning Volunteer of the Year, Wendy Glasper, for his dedication to the game.

As a former club champion and member of his university’s first team, Steven has always appreciated the role umpires and referees play in the sport. As a result, in 1989, he started refereeing in Framlingham before he became a tournament umpire for both local and national tournaments.

He has worked closely with the Tennis Foundation to support the growth of blind and visually impaired competitions, as well as wheelchair tennis tournaments.

Visually impaired tennis is a fast growing sport, but Steven always ensures he’s on top of the ever-changing rules regarding sight classification, court sizes and the number of ball bounces a player can have. With his friendly and approachable manner, he is always on hand to offer support to chair umpires, players and volunteers.

“I got to know Steven and his wife Julie at my first ever visually impaired competition in 2010. I hadn’t played tennis before and didn’t know the rules, but with Steven and Julie’s support, I left the tournament on a high, which inspired me to start my own visually impaired tennis club.” Wendy Glasper, 2016 Volunteer of the Year 

Hollie Irwin, Young Volunteer of the Year – South East

Hollie has been volunteering at Maresfield Lawn Tennis Club for three years, where she has supported the club and primary school programmes, and proactively offers new and innovative ideas to support the club’s growth.

During an international club training camp in Morzine, Hollie looked after younger players and created a video of memories for the players and their parents after the trip. She often supports at club events, including a charity doubles tournament in aid of Chestnut Tree House Children’s Hospice, where her excellent baking skills contributed to a total of £700 raised!

As a She Rallies Activator, Hollie is passionate about inspiring more females to play tennis and has helped deliver two successful She Rallies fun days for girls aged 6-16. This involved promoting, planning and supporting at the events - both of which turned out to be a massive hit with more than 30 girls attending!

Get involved!

Feeling inspired? Anyone can volunteer in tennis – no matter your age, ability or background. Get involved today! 

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