The Fuzion 100 Southsea Trophy returned to Canoe Lake Leisure this week and played host to the regional British Tennis Awards (South West) today ahead of the national prizes being announced during Wimbledon.
Launched in 2015, the Lawn Tennis Association’s British Tennis Awards hail unsung heroes and celebrate the thousands of people supporting the grassroots of the game, whether it’s through education and disability programmes or recreational competitions and community initiatives.
Last autumn, a record-breaking total of 1,460 nominations in 10 categories were cast to recognise the incredible people and places that help kept tennis ticking across England, Scotland and Wales throughout 2017.
Hundreds of county award winners were announced during the winter months, before those winners were whittled down to regional winners.
The Southsea Trophy hosted by Canoe Lake Leisure, an ITF Pro-Circuit women’s event held for the first time only last year, picked up the award for Regional Competition of the Year having swiftly established itself at the heart of Portsmouth’s vibrant tennis scene.
John Cooke, Director at Canoe Lake Leisure said:
“The 2017 Southsea Trophy was the very first tournament Canoe Lake hosted. It took place on recently refurbished grass courts and in a brand-new pavilion. Despite the rain disrupting the play for two days, the finals day was a great success attracting over 600 spectators.
“We are delighted to have won the Regional Competition of the Year and will continue to host tournaments that engage the local community.”
Jess Barton, a tennis mad 17-year-old based at Portsmouth Tennis Club was recognised as the Regional Young Volunteer of the Year having originally taken up tennis as a means of distraction following difficulties at school.
Of her award, Barton said:
“I always loved tennis and one day I decided to go along to my local club and see if I could get involved in some way – that’s how I started. I particularly like helping to coach the disability programmes because it’s so rewarding.
“I’m very proud of myself for winning this award and really excited to be in with a chance of winning the national one. All volunteers are really important to the future of tennis, especially to inspire younger generations.”
The award for Regional Coach of the Year went to Ashley Neaves, Head Coach at Portsmouth Tennis Club, who has built the club’s fully inclusive coaching programme from scratch since his arrival in 2013.
Of his award, Neaves said:
“I’m really chuffed, I wasn’t expecting it at all. You don’t do these things for recognition, you do it for the love of it. Coaching is all about inspiring the next generation and changing lives, not just at elite level. I like helping people from all walks of life to get whatever they want from tennis.
“I can’t wait for Wimbledon next week, there is an amazing day lined up and we should get to see some good tennis.”
Other regional awards presented today included, Club of the Year (Ramsbury Tennis Club), Outstanding Achievement (Patricia Smith), Official of the Year (Jenny Sayer), and Community Venue of the Year (Totton & Eling Tennis Centre).
Winners of the national awards will be announced at the official Awards Ceremony at The Championships, Wimbledon, on 3 July.
The Fuzion 100 Southsea Trophy runs until Friday, 29 June and provides a fantastic opportunity to see top talent as the British grass-court season continues to gather pace. For more information and to buy tickets for the remaining days, visit www.lta.org.uk/fuzion-100-southsea-trophy
To find out how you can get involved in volunteering for British Tennis, visit: www.lta.org.uk/volunteering/
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