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Giffnock Tennis Club presented UK ‘Club of the Year’ Award by President of the LTA

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In the most fiercely competitive LTA Award’s category, Giffnock TSH Club outshone venues across the breadth of the UK for its inspirational resilience, compassion and strive to engage individuals in the Southside of Glasgow, particularly in the early stages of lockdown.

Giffnock TSH Club has been presented with the coveted ‘Club of the Year’ award at a ceremony led by LTA President, David Rawlinson; Tennis Scotland Chief Executive, Blane Dodds; MSP for Eastwood, Jackson Carlaw; and Provost Jim Fletcher of East Renfrewshire.

Having secured the honour at a virtual LTA Awards ceremony in June, following recognition for the Scottish award from Tennis Scotland, the club was acknowledged for a year of impressive membership growth as Scottish tennis led the charge for sports returning from lockdown. Today’s in-person celebration welcomed some of the most influential individuals in British tennis to Giffnock to pay tribute to the club’s outstanding achievement.

In the most fiercely competitive LTA Award’s category, Giffnock TSH Club outshone venues across the breadth of the UK for its inspirational resilience, compassion and strive to engage individuals in the Southside of Glasgow, particularly in the early stages of lockdown.

To be named Club of the Year is a momentous achievement and one truly befitting of Giffnock Tennis Squash and Hockey Club which acted as a lifeline for members and the wider community during lockdown

The efforts of club members ensured that Giffnock was one of the first sports clubs in Scotland to become COVID-19 compliant thanks to a proactive approach to tailoring their facility, coaching set up and communications, which attracted a 33% increase in memberships.

LTA President, David Rawlinson, said: “To be named Club of the Year is a momentous achievement and one truly befitting of Giffnock Tennis Squash and Hockey Club which acted as a lifeline for members and the wider community during lockdown. I feel privileged to finally present the award in-person and meet some of the inspirational individuals who assist in the running of this exceptional club. I would like to congratulate everyone involved for the role they played in bringing this prestigious award to Giffnock.”

As the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations were halted due to COVID-19 restrictions, efforts were instead channelled into the Giffnock Community Outreach Project. This emerged with a simple food delivery service and quickly grew into online social events, a telephone buddy system, mental health support and daily physical skills challenges to keep individuals connected. The club also made the decision to engage groups hit hardest by isolation, commencing with an Easter bunny drop to 300 local children, followed by a small care package delivered to members aged 65 and older.

The responsiveness and adaptability of the club also enabled a swift reopening of facilities, providing a safe and inclusive environment to play tennis.

MSP for Eastwood, Jackson Carlaw, commented: “The collective work of all involved with Giffnock, both during the pandemic and also on returning to the tennis courts, has been truly impressive.”

“The list of achievements over the last 12 months is quite astonishing and it was a pleasure to be there to congratulate the club and to present the trophy to all involved with the Giffnock Tennis, Squash and Hockey Club.”

Tennis Scotland Chief Executive, Blane Dodds, said: “The response of our clubs was exceptional throughout lockdown and Giffnock Tennis Squash and Hockey Club perfectly illustrate how the community rallied to ensure that our sport not only returned safely, but continued to thrive throughout 2020.

“I would once again like to congratulate Richard Cook, the committee, and everyone at Giffnock for this outstanding achievement and their work in ensuring that the club is a very valued part of the community. Our clubs truly are the lifeblood of Scottish tennis and Giffnock has demonstrated that it is delivering not only in Scotland, but also compared to all tennis clubs throughout the UK.”

The award has sparked a continuous improvement project which is now under way at the club, with plans to consolidate existing membership and maximise facility use at the heart of their objectives. As a progressive group, organisers have placed their faith in innovative technology which will improve member experience through the Giffnock TSHC App and even enable parents to tune in to their child’s coaching sessions via a live stream as part of the Giffnock Tennis Academy. 

Richard Cook, 2020 President and Tennis Convenor, Giffnock Tennis Squash and Hockey Club, said: “To receive such an incredible honour put the icing on the cake of the club’s 125th anniversary celebrations. The selfless commitment and dedication shown by our volunteers truly displays that Giffnock Tennis Squash and Hockey Club is more than just a club – we’re a tennis family.”

 To find out more about the LTA Awards and all the winners in 2021, please click here.