Newport Tennis Centre has won the ‘National Community Venue of the Year’ in the Aegon British Tennis Awards 2016.
The Newport Tennis Centre won the National Community Venue of the Year Award in the Tennis Wales awards in January and was put through as a finalist to the national awards, and has now subsequently won the Aegon British Tennis Award. As a national winner,Newport Live are now invited to celebrate the achievements at the awards ceremony at The All England Lawn Tennis Club on Tuesday 4 July, during the Wimbledon Championships. The award will be presented by special guests including HRH The Duchess of Gloucester and overseen by Andrew Castle.
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 not one but eight passionate coaches.
The incredible turnaround has been as a result of a dramatic transformation which saw Tennis Development Officer, Rhys Jones brought on board. Demonstrating teamwork at its very best, the Tennis Foundation, LTA, Newport City Council and Tennis Wales got stuck in and worked tirelessly to help make the Centre what it is today. Two years ago the Centre transferred to Newport Live, a new not-for-profit distribution and registered charity. Since then the Tennis programme has become even more dynamic and has achieved real change through great marketing, passion and coaching, together with a partnership approach.
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, many in areas of high deprivation and low-income thresholds, to give over 3,600 primary school children the opportunity to play tennis.
That’s not forgetting the 3,300 people who have been a given the chance to play at park courts and the 550 females who 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 as part of the Newport International Sports Village has hosted an exciting mix of events for the whole community to get stuck into, including the Sports Extravaganza, Sport in the Park and a Road to Rio festival which included hosting Team GB and Paralympics GB training camps.
The list goes on and is just a snapshot of the fantastic work that contributed to Newport Live Tennis Centre’s deserving accolade as the Community Venue of the Year. Steve Ward, the Chief Executive of Newport Live, added “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 Lawn Tennis Association, the Tennis Foundation and Tennis Wales to create a new chapter for Tennis in the City.”
Representatives from Newport Live will be accepting the award on Tuesday 4 July, at Wimbledon. To find out more about joining Newport Tennis Centre, to book a court or join our coaching programme, check out the website; www.newportlive.co.uk/tennis or call 01633 656757. Follow our latest news on Twitter @TennisNewport or on Facebook.com/NewportLiveTennisCentre