The head of the organisation which guides tennis in the UK took time out to visit Uckfield’s new courts last weekend.
Cathie Sabin, president of the LTA, came to the town and toured the new, revitalised courts in Victoria Park Pleasure Ground.
She was welcomed by directors of the Urban Tennis Foundation, Dan Elson and Simon Trott as well as Uckfield councillors Ian Smith and Keith Everett.
Also there for the show-round were Urban Tennis Foundation (UTF) members Pro Das, Nikki Hughes, Mike and Debbie Ziolek (UckfieldFM,) Joe and Livie Grott.
Tom O’Riordan was thanked for his hard work in preparing the courts during the days leading up to the visit.
As with all leading sportspeople, Cathie Savin was undeterred by the the wet weather and received a warm welcome. She was shown the new courts with their impressive rebound practice wall that is the first of its type in Sussex. Cathie delivered a short speech on the importance of improved facilities to grass roots tennis, stating how vital it is to the development of top level tennis in the UK, and complimented Simon on his efforts to get the project launched.
Later that day, the UTF team collected the Best Community Venue prize at the Tennis Sussex Awards 2015 being hosted by Heart DJ, Jack the Lad, at the AMEX stadium in Brighton.
Winning this prize means that Urban Tennis will now be placed into the national Aegon British Tennis Awards. A win there is worth a £5,000 grant for still further improvement to the facilities.
Separately, the new Uckfield tennis facilities have also been entered into the Fields in Trust national competition for the Most Improved Park site. A decision on the outcome of that competition is expected on December 4.
Simon said: “It was a great honour to be invited to the annual awards ceremony for Tennis Sussex at the Amex. The Venue Award for 2015 is a terrific achievement and means we came first out of a total of 96 LTA registered tennis venues in the whole of the county. We are proud of our new courts and it is good to have our optimism recognised by someone at the top of the sport.”
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