Grantham Tennis Club is best in the county
Grantham Tennis Club and Gym, its coaches, members and volunteers, were recognised for their hard work and success at the recent Lincolnshire and LTA Tennis Awards.
The club was named Lincolnshire Club of the Year for the second time since the awards' inauguration in 2015.
It continues to provide coaching and social and competitive playing opportunities for people of all ages and abilities. It is more than just a tennis club in terms of its ethos and outlook.
The club was also once more the recipient of the Richard Edgley Disability Award, as it builds on Richard's legacy of delivering tennis to all. It welcomes people through its gates, puts a racket in their hand and works out how to give them the best tennis experience it can.
GTC's Sunday Night League came out on top in the competition category. The mixed event runs all year round, outdoors and indoors, over three hours, across six divisions.
Abbie Breakwell won the Disability Junior award after another action-packed year. After competing in tournaments both at home and in Europe, she climbed the girls' and women's wheelchair tennis world rankings, becoming the girls' world number two. Now combining training, competition and her studies at Loughborough University, she has a current women's singles world ranking of 50.
Abbie was also the joint recipient of the Best Junior Performance award.
Josh Harris was the recipient of the Junior Boy award after his efforts on the practice court gave him many singles and doubles titles across the year. Highlights of the past 12 months included Josh winning the county's Road to Wimbledon event. This led to him competing in the Finals, on the hallowed Wimbledon practice courts that the professionals had used weeks before, and finishing as runner-up in the doubles event.
Zoe Pitcher was part of the Lincs 9U girls' side awarded Team of the Year. The girls won their regional County Cup event at Boston and then finished in third place in the National Final North in Sheffield.
Megan Jones represented the Lincs ladies, managed by GTC chair Lianne Firth, who secured promotions in the Summer and Winter County Cups. They were Highly Commended for this excellent achievement.
Kate Munks, Lincolnshire Tennis' head of communications and marketing, was Highly Commended in the Volunteer category for her work collating and posting the wide-ranging activities of the 35 tennis clubs in one of the nation's biggest counties.
Chris Enock was also Highly Commended for giving his time on the court as an assistant coach, both on a week night and weekend.
Paul Singleton was Highly Commended for his coaching after another year that saw him tirelessly lead group and individual sessions for players of all ages and abilities. Paul also assistant manages the Lincs 12U Boys' side.
Isabel Collier and Alice Dyer were Highly Commended in the Junior Disability category for their weekly efforts in their wheelchair tennis training and progression to compete locally and across the country.
Many other GTC members received nominations. Nigel Fathers, Neil Rossiter and Dale Wright were nominees for Volunteer of the Year after selflessly giving time to the club wherever needed.
Ben Pitcher and Ben Rodgers were nominated for the Young Person of the Year award after helping coaching groups as Tennis Leaders and competing in internal and inter-club competitions.
Ella Coleman was a Disability Junior nominee, recognised for playing tennis at every given opportunity, despite battling chronic illness.
After a successful year on court in singles and doubles across various age groups, Sophie Munks was nominated in the Junior Girl category. She won the county Road to Wimbledon event and competed at the Finals as a result.
Melanie Bloodworth was nominated in the Team Captain category for leading the ladies' first team. At the same time, Lianne Firth was also a Team Captain nominee following the great success of her Lincs ladies' side.
The awards recognised the thousands of inspirational individuals involved in tennis, dedicating their precious time and energy – 25,000 volunteers, 4,672 coaches and 975 officials.
They also highlighted the incredible achievements of 22,000 schools, 2,768 clubs, and over 9,276 LTA approved tournaments.
Winners are judged from more than 2,000 public nominations and are first considered by 38 County Associations, resulting in 380 County award winners who are then put forward for Regional awards. Finally, the Regional winners are put forward for the National LTA Tennis Awards alongside Tennis Wales and Tennis Scotland winners.
l If you are interested in playing tennis, Grantham Tennis Club and Gym is a thriving, friendly club with a strong sense of community. The club is located on Gonerby Road in Grantham. It has excellent facilities, including four indoor courts, a gym, a café and bar and Exhale Therapy treatment rooms. For more information about any of the above, pop into reception or call 01476 591391.