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British Tennis Award Winners

At our AGM in February, we awarded our British Tennis Award Winners for 2023. Below you can find out who won and why. We are delighted to announce that James Woodwards has recently been awarded the regional award for the Development Coach of the Year and is in the running for the national award.

Competition or Event of the Year: Gerrards Cross Bull Lane ITF Seniors

The brainchild of David Kay, the Gerrards Cross Bull Lane ITF Seniors tournament has grown every year since it began, and everyone who plays in it speaks of how well run it is, and how enjoyable it is for all those taking part. This year it attracted a record 245 entries and it is on the verge of breaking into the most elite category of seniors events. David is not only tournament director but brings in sponsorship and organises social events during the tournament.


Development Coach of the Year: James Woodwards

Our next award goes to an outstanding coach who has been working at Aylesbury Tennis Club for a number of years. He coaches members from the ages of 2 to 82, runs groups for adults and juniors, including beginners and rusty rackets right up taking team training for the men’s and ladies first teams. In addition, he runs the club’s box leagues for men and women, he runs the annual club tournament and takes charge of all the club’s junior teams. He is also involved in a number or local primary schools and runs initiatives aimed at getting more boys and girls into tennis.

Volunteer of the Year: Terry Ansell

We all know of the vital work done by volunteers at every club. Whether it’s handling the club accounts, serving teas, cleaning the clubhouse, running the junior section or sorting out the fixtures. Terry Ansell has been Little Chalfont Tennis Club’s Treasurer for the past 13 years. As well as handling the day-to-day tasks of dealing with payments in and out of the club, he has helped to invest club funds prudently and has renegotiated a renewal of the lease for the grounds from the council – all to keep the club’s finances on an even keel.


Club of the Year: Bledlow Ridge Lawn Tennis Club

Only a couple of years ago Bledlow Ridge Lawn Tennis Club was in danger of having to close. The clubhouse and the courts required improvement and membership numbers were down to around 85. Since then the courts have been repaired and LED floodlights installed on 2 of the 3 courts. The clubhouse has been repainted and huge efforts have been made to make the club an integral part of the village and local community, not just through playing but through a range of social activities, a reinvigorated relationship with the cricket club and widespread use of social media. Numbers are now up to 170, there are men’s and ladies teams playing in the local league and the club is thriving again. It takes a lot of hard work from lots of people to revitalise a struggling tennis club in this way.


Official of the Year: Faris Ahmad

Last year’s official of the year award went to an outstanding individual who was progressing steadily up the ladder towards top-flight officiating. Well, Faris Ahmad has continued that progress this year, working at the Surbiton, Nottingham and Eastbourne grasscourt events, and at Wimbledon Qualifying. He has also umpired at the Play Your Way to Wimbledon National Finals and at the Bucks County Closed, the Great Missenden Junior Open and a whole host of other regional and county level tournaments. He always receives glowing reports from tournament organisers and participants alike, and his enthusiasm makes him stands out among the crowd. Faris was unable to accept his award in person.

Rising Star Award: Amelie Baldwin

It’s always a particular pleasure to come across a young tennis player who not only loves playing tennis, but who also enjoys getting involved in every aspect of helping out at their club. At Wooburn Park there is currently one young lady whose outstanding contributions include working with the 4-9 year olds on a Saturday morning, scoring for club and now county competitions and providing support for young players of all ages. She sets up the courts for mini tennis and starts the warm ups without being asked. She is professional, proactive and extremely enthusiastic in her approach; always ready with a smile and a word of praise or encouragement for the youngsters. So impressive is she that the LTA President herself, on her recent visit to Bucks, pressed her nomination for this Award.


Lifetime Achievement Award: Sue Gray

What can you say about someone who has spent the past 40 years dedicating herself to a tennis club in a voluntary capacity? At Burnham Tennis Club, Sue Gray has held just about every role possible, from coach to junior organiser to match secretary, to treasurer to membership secretary. Incredibly she actually finds time to play herself too! I think we can all acknowledge the changes in the sport, or certainly the administration of the sport, over the past 40 years and yet Sue has taken it all in her stride, adapting to different tournament formats, embracing the membership mode ClubSpark and encouraging a wide range of people, young and old, to take up or return to, tennis.

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