Newport Tennis Centre has been named the Community Venue of the Year as part of the British Tennis Awards – with representatives from the Tennis Foundation supported venue travelling to Wimbledon next month to collect their award.
In 2013 Newport Tennis Centre had empty courts, little community engagement and fewer than 50 weekly participants signed up to the coaching programme which was led by a one-man coaching team. Fast-forward four years and the courts are now buzzing with nearly 350 weekly participants signed up to the coaching programme, delivered by eight passionate coaches.
The incredible turnaround has been a result of a transformation which saw tennis development officer, Rhys Jones brought on board and demonstrating teamwork at its very best, a team got stuck in to help make the centre what it is today. This involved the Centre transferring to Newport LIVE, a new not-for-profit distribution, registered charity.
— British Tennis (@BritishTennis) June 6, 2017
Community engagement has been at the heart of the revolution with strong relationships built in local schools, parks and communities. In the last year alone, the Centre has worked across 16 schools in Newport to give over 3,600 primary school children the opportunity to play tennis. 3,300 more people have been a given the chance to play at park courts and 550 females have taken part in Cardio Tennis sessions.
The development of the disability tennis programme also demonstrates the Centre’s excellence, with weekly all-star sessions, Help the Heroes and inclusive groups on offer, as well as providing training facilities for social and performance players.
Finally, by partnering with Newport Live’s Sport Development team, the Centre has held an exciting mix of events for the whole community including the Sports Extravaganza, Sport in the Park and a Road to Rio festival which hosted Team GB and Paralympics GB training camps.
“Newport LIVE are so excited to receive this award, it’s recognition for the team behind Tennis who have worked tirelessly to develop a new and innovative programme. The award will inspire us to continue the improvement and we look forward to continuing to work with the LTA, the Tennis Foundation and Tennis Wales to create the new chapter for Tennis in the City.” Steve Ward the Chief Executive of Newport LIVE.
The Aegon British Tennis Awards are a celebration of the people and places that deliver participation and competition. The LTA, Tennis Foundation and Aegon launched the annual awards back in 2015 to say ‘thank you’.
The Awards are our way of celebrating those support our game, increasing opportunities to play, compete and perform, and recognise great work at county, regional and national level.
Among the other winners recognised this week were Grantham Tennis Club who picked up the Disability Programme of the Year award, and Cardinal Newman RC School who claimed the Education Programme of the Year. There was also special recognition for the inspirational Wendy Glasper of the North East Visually Impaired Tennis Club who has been shortlisted for the Volunteer of the Year Award.
To find out more about the British Tennis Awards click here.