Scotland’s Giffnock Tennis Club win Club of the Year
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Giffnock Tennis Club in Scotland have been crowned a national winner at the prestigious LTA Tennis Awards for their trailblazing exploits growing the sport in the region.
Giffnock scooped the LTA’s flagship Club of the Year Award after being recognised for their inspirational work expanding participation and booming back to life after lockdown.
The club have adapted innovatively to the demands of the Covid-19 pandemic, made tennis more welcoming and accessible and fostered a feel-good and inclusive environment to members throughout the last year.
They were announced as the winners by Sally Bolton, Chief Executive, The All England Tennis Club, at the live-streamed award ceremony presented by LTA Head of Men’s tennis and Great Britain’s Davis Cup captain Leon Smith OBE.
The LTA Tennis Awards are now in their sixth year and celebrate the achievements and contributions of outstanding tennis volunteers, coaches, officials, venues and players across the country.
And they were hand-picked as one of 16 national winners recognised at the awards ceremony this evening, which honoured individuals involved in tennis at grassroots, county, regional and national level.
At the start of the pandemic, Giffnock Tennis Club set up the Giffnock Community Outreach Project to ensure every member, their families and friends did not face adversity alone and offered support ranging from food parcels to care packages and online social events to a telephone buddy system. They were the first sports club in Scotland to become Covid compliant and have transformed their coaching set up, communications and clubhouse which has resulted in their largest ever membership.
Despite the restrictions of lockdown, Giffnock have continued to inspire as they’ve increased participation by 33 per cent, revamped their facilities, created a new app and helped champion a welcoming tennis community in Scotland.
Nominations were drawn from over 25,000 volunteers, nearly 5,000 coaches and 1,000 officials, 22,000 schools, nearly 3,000 clubs and over 9,000 LTA approved tournaments, with Giffnock recognised for their inspirational work in the Glasgow region.
The quality and quantity of the nominations demonstrate outstanding work that has been done in tennis through the pandemic and David Rawlinson, LTA President, said: “The LTA Tennis Awards are a real celebration of the people that make our sport thrive.
“They celebrate the achievements made by outstanding volunteers, coaches, officials, venues and players, who are all vital in helping us to grow the game.
“The past year has been challenging for everyone, but to see the tremendous positive contributions the nominees have made to the sport and to their communities has been tremendously uplifting.”
National Runners Up
Helsby Lawn Tennis Club
Despite lockdown, Helsby Lawn Tennis Club increased its membership by 40% and more than doubled its number of court hours booked to 900. The club encouraged free community use of some of their courts by waiving booking fees, offered free taster sessions and adapted their coaching sessions to be more flexible. As well as renovating some of their courts, they worked closely with local Scout and youth groups to offer facilities and allow their programmes to run.
Sundridge Park Club
The challenges arising from covid provided a fantastic example of Sundridge Park Club’s community spirit: older members were contacted and offered support during lockdown, any members self-isolating were offered practical help and social media platforms were used extensively to engage with at-home activities. The club linked up with local independent shops and restaurants to promote their services and worked closely with their local park community.
LTA Club of the Year 2021 – National Shortlist
- Allt-Yr-Yn Lawn Tennis Club in South Wales
- Flitwick and Ampthill Lawn Tennis Club in Bedfordshire
- Giffnock Tennis, Squash and Hockey Club in Scotland
- Helsby Lawn Tennis Club in Cheshire
- Riverside Tennis Club in Wiltshire
- Stamford Tennis Club in Lincolnshire
- Sundridge Park Club in Kent