EASTBOURNE’S ‘Tennis in the Park’ and Seaford & Blatchington LTC were amongst the winners at the annual Lawn Tennis Association Awards held at Falmer’s Amex Community Stadium on Saturday.
Tennis in the Park, a community focused tennis club based in Gildredge Park, took the “Park Club of the Year” honour, while one of the club’s original founders, Francis Mackie, was awarded “Coach of the Year 2012”.
Speaking after the ceremony, Francis said, “We’re totally surprised and delighted to be awarded these titles. We’re proud to show that you can put fun very firmly at the top of the agenda and still be taken seriously.”
He added, “It’s all about making the game available to a bigger audience, at all levels, from all backgrounds. We’re just playing tennis and having fun with it!”
Julie Thompson, a friend and member of the club, beamed, “It’s hard to put into words how much the club has done for the park and the community. Some people come for the tennis. Some people just come for the cake!”
Head Coach Craig Wells was keen to explain the benefits of joining the club: “Tennis in the Park is a club with a difference. We don’t have committees, we don’t have a dress code or any silly rules, we just love the game and we want other people to discover and love it too.”