BBC tennis correspondent highlights contribution made by Shropshire winners of British Tennis Awards

BBC tennis correspondent Russell Fuller praised the Shropshire clubs and individuals recognised after the county’s unsung tennis heroes stepped into the spotlight.

Shifnal Tennis Club, represented by Merill Holt and Gary Marsh, was named club of the year at the Tennis Shropshire awards, with, left, Liz Boyle, the president of Tennis Shropshire, and, right, Simon Haddleton, from The Shrewsbury Club, presenting the award
Shifnal Tennis Club, represented by Merill Holt and Gary Marsh, was named club of the year at the Tennis Shropshire awards, with, left, Liz Boyle, the president of Tennis Shropshire, and, right, Simon Haddleton, from The Shrewsbury Club, presenting the award

A well known voice to BBC Radio 5 Live listeners, Fuller was guest speaker as Tennis Shropshire held their British Tennis Awards dinner at The Shrewsbury Club.

He shared stories of his broadcasting career and offered an insight into his role travelling the world covering tennis at the highest level.

The BBC man was also impressed to learn of the wealth of work provided locally by volunteers to help ensure tennis in Shropshire is in such good health.

Fuller said: “Every time you see a county like this in action, it just reminds you of the extraordinary amount of hours that so many people devote the length and breadth of the country to keep their chosen sport or hobby going.

“It’s impossible to count the hours, but it is so nice that something like this happens once a year to recognise those who are not doing it for the recognition, I know, but it’s so nice for them to realise they’ve either been nominated or presented with an award because they thoroughly deserve it.”

Bob Kerr, the Tennis Shropshire chairman, added: “It was an excellent night and it’s always special to be able to reward clubs and volunteers for the tireless work they put in here in Shropshire.

“Congratulations to everyone who was nominated and also thank you to The Shrewsbury Club for kindly sponsoring the awards dinner.

“The Shropshire winners of British Tennis Awards will now forward to the regional West Midlands awards in April, with the national finals to be held at Wimbledon next summer.”

Mandy Joyce received the outstanding achievement of the year award for her endeavours on behalf of Woore Tennis Club.

Shifnal Tennis Club was named Shropshire’s club of the year, with Fiona Edwards from Cound & District Tennis Club receiving the coach of the year award.

The volunteer and young volunteers of the year were Market Drayton Tennis Club’s Fiona Jones and Matthew Hunt of Bridgnorth Tennis Club respectively.

The Shrewsbury Club’s Simon Haddleton, who presented the awards with Liz Boyle, the president of Tennis Shropshire, was named official of the year.

The disability programme of the year went to Telford Tennis Centre’s Learning Disability Group.

Shrewsbury’s Monkmoor Recreation Ground was recognised as community venue of the year, with Ellesmere College named as education programme of the year.

Tennis Shropshire’s Fun Competitions was selected as winner of the competition of the year category.