Grantham Tennis Club volunteer awarded for dedication
A Grantham Tennis Club volunteer has seen her efforts rewarded with an LTA Regional Award.
After joining the club in 2014 to help with her rehabilitation after defeating breast cancer, Susan Stannard, from Caythorpe, has volunteered as a coaching assistant ever since.
Now her contributions to the community have led to her being named as Volunteer of the Year by the Lawn Tennis Association.
From running the Feeling Good Group to helping with mental health sufferers, helping with wheelchair tennis sessions and involving herself in junior tennis coaching, Susan’s help has no boundaries.
Susan said: “Apart from the fact that I love both playing and watching tennis, it symbolises my recovery from lengthy and at times very difficult treatment for breast cancer.
“When we first joined Grantham Tennis Club, I was quite scarred psychologically, as well as physically, and lacked confidence in my ability to return to fitness so I felt like the weakest link on court for quite a while.
“I spend rather a lot of time at the club and my husband jokes that I should set up a mattress there. When I think about the regular groups and add in all the tournament help I have probably done more like 350 hours volunteering through the year.
“So when you add that to time in the gym and my own playing that might explain why my husband thinks I live at Grantham Tennis Club.
“I was really touched by the recognition - the volunteer work that I do is just part of my life and as valuable to me as it seemingly is to the club and to some of the individuals I help.
“It’s lovely to be recognised in this way but also a teensy bit embarrassing! I just hope it might encourage others to see how valuable and rewarding it can be to contribute their time.”
Successful regional winners will now progress through to the LTA’s National finals in each of their respective categories, with Susan’s accomplishments to be judged alongside the best in the country.
LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd said: “These awards acknowledge the extraordinary contribution of the individuals and venues that help us open tennis up, bringing new fans and players to our sport.
“Now more than ever, it is important we celebrate their contributions and hope that tennis can rally together to get through this very challenging time.”
Launched in 2015, the LTA Tennis Awards serve to acknowledge the many thousands of individuals involved in tennis – from the 25,000 volunteers, to the 4,400 coaches and 940 officials, as well as the 20,000 schools, 2,700 clubs and over 9,700 LTA approved tournaments across the country.
Now in their fifth year, a record number of 2,100 nominations were received nationally for this year’s awards. For more information about the work the LTA is doing to grow tennis in Britain, log onto www.LTA.org.uk.