Club holds all the aces

Pictured, left to right at back, are Pippa Hawes, Tom Kinloch and Phil Givens (Morpeth Tennis Club coach). Pictured left to right at front are Rowan Wasiejo, Lewis Eke, Ben Miller, Ewan Macdonald.
Pictured, left to right at back, are Pippa Hawes, Tom Kinloch and Phil Givens (Morpeth Tennis Club coach). Pictured left to right at front are Rowan Wasiejo, Lewis Eke, Ben Miller, Ewan Macdonald.
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MORPETH Tennis Club officials are celebrating after it was chosen to receive a prestigious award.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) and Tennis Foundation announced this week that one of the county’s leading tennis sites, based at Longhirst Hall, has been awarded Beacon status as part of the AEGON Parks Tennis programme.

The club is one of 95 sites across the country to achieve the national accolade, which recognises the best community-focused facilities offering free and affordable tennis.

To achieve this status, facilities must also offer access to quality, affordable coaching as well as regular competitions for all ages and abilities.

Morpeth Tennis Club has six courts and it shares a clubhouse with the town’s cricket and hockey clubs. All the facilities are open to the general public and it provides training and coaching evenings for players of all ages as well as opportunities for league tennis.

The club also received ClubMark accreditation from the LTA for high standards of club management.

Pippa Hawes, chairperson and head coach at Morpeth, said: “We are very proud to achieve Beacon status and to receive the ClubMark award. It’s a great sign that we are doing things the right way.

“It’s a consequence of the hard work we have done here and our determination to make tennis available to as many local people as possible, whatever their age or ability.”

The Beacon plaque was presented to the club by Tom Kinloch, LTA Main Board Member and Vice-Chairman of Northumberland LTA.

He said: “It is testament to the team here of the hard work they are putting in to promote tennis to the local community that they are now recognised on the AEGON Parks programme.

“Tennis is a sport for everyone and the programme is helping to spread that message and deliver tennis to all in the local community. Morpeth is a great example of that and we look forward to seeing the programme here grow and develop over the coming years.”

Delivered by the LTA and Tennis Foundation, AEGON Parks Tennis is a key programme in British Tennis’ drive to increase participation and grow the sport at all levels.