Cheslyn Hay aces serve up yet another winner
Cheslyn Hay are proving tennis is a sport for everyone after their efforts were recognised in the LTA Awards.
Head coach Chris Perrin, from Cannock, has been involved with the club from the outset, working with charities to help provide free sessions and open up the game to those from all backgrounds following the London 2012 Olympic Games.
The club based themselves in parks and schools at the beginning but have now seen players go onto win county titles and leagues after their coaching.
And for the 23-year-old PE teacher, it’s a willingness to unearth new talent in the community which has led to their success.
“We have been doing the same thing over quite a few years and I think like it is just making everyone welcome,” explained Perrin, after Cheslyn were awarded the Community & Parks Award for the Midlands by the sport’s national governing body.
“Tennis has that scope where people think you have to be a certain level or have money or nice equipment, but we try to make it so everyone is welcome.
“It is nice to be recognised because it is a group effort. We have tried to develop a place which has a lot of heart and integrity, but also keep the talent which a school side or park would have.
“It is not like playing at Wimbledon or a private club. It is windy and rainy, a lot of work goes into our club and our courts and it is nice to be recognised for it.”
The regional winners will now progress through to the LTA’s National finals in each of their respective categories, with Cheslyn Hay’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