Wavertree is the new Wimbledon as Liverpool scoops a top accolade.
Liverpool Tennis Centre has been named ‘Community Tennis Venue of the Year’ at the 2015 Lancashire Tennis Awards which recognises excellence in the Lancashire, Merseyside and Greater Manchester area.
The win comes after one of the best performing years for the centre, with the number of people playing tennis increasing by more than 500 per cent – in December 2014 there were 78 weekly players, and this month there are 501.
The boost follows the recruitment of a new team of coaches who have increased the level of community work and have visited around 4,000 children in primary schools, introducing them to tennis and encouraging them to be part of one of the strongest competition programmes in the country.
Mayoral Lead for sport, Councillor Tim Moore, said: “This is fantastic news for the tennis centre and the award is recognition of the team’s hard work and commitment to encouraging people, young and old, to take up the sport.
“The increase in the number of people taking up tennis has been phenomenal and is testament to the high standard of the facility and the coaches who are on hand to get the best out of people.
“The success of the centre goes to show you don’t have to be an Andy Murray or Heather Watson to enjoy a game of tennis, and I hope in the future even more people are tempted to pick up a racket and get involved with this great sporting activity.”
Dave Hillier, Tennis Manager at the Liverpool Tennis Centre, said: “We are delighted with the progress that we have made over the past year.
“We are committed to getting more people, of all ages, playing tennis and to receive this award is fantastic for all the tennis players and staff who have worked so hard this year.
“We would like to thank everyone who has helped us this year, particularly the Tennis Foundation who have been very supportive of our work.”
The ceremony, which took place in Manchester, was a double celebration as local youngster Chris Ablewhite scooped the ‘Young Volunteer of the Year Award’. The 15-year-old volunteers at Liverpool Tennis Centre every week helping with Mini Tennis coaching and Junior Squads and is looking to pursue a career as a tennis coach when he is older.
Chris said: “I really enjoy helping at the Tennis Centre and I wasn’t expecting to get this award but I am really pleased. I am looking forward to doing my Level 1 Coaching badge in January when I am 16.”
Both Liverpool Tennis Centre and Chris now progress to the regional stages of the 2016 Aegon British Tennis Awards, where they will be up against winners from across the North of England.
Liverpool Tennis Centre run weekly sessions for adults, children and students of all standards on their 6 indoor and 6 outdoor courts. There are no membership fees and anyone is welcome to come along and join in with Mini Tennis, Junior Squads or Adult Coaching. For more information visit www.Liverpool.gov.uk/tennis