THE WOMAN who successfully led the campaign to get the tennis courts at Droitwich’s Lido Park resurfaced has scooped a prestigious national award.
Elaine Ball was presented with the Lawn Tennis Association’s Volunteer of the Year accolade at Wimbledon on Tuesday.
The lunch was hosted by broadcaster and former British number one Andrew Castle and attended by HRH the Duchess of Gloucester and former players Jo Durie and Mark Cox.
Elaine worked closely with Wychavon District Council and the local community to raise the £40,000 to resurface the park courts.
She also set up low-cost pay-as-you-play sessions which inspired hundreds of new players to take up the sport.
This year there was a record number of nominations – 1,460 over the ten different categories.
They were drawn from 25,000 volunteers, 4,400 coaches, 940 officials, 20,000 schools, 2,800 clubs and over 9,700 LTA approved tournaments from across the country, which shows the true calibre of Elaine’s win.
She said: “It was so important to me that the local community could use the courts for free and so to see that happen is brilliant.
“The number of people who now use the courts is absolutely incredible.
“My family are very proud of me for winning Volunteer of the Year and being here at Wimbledon has definitely been a day to remember.”
Scott Lloyd, Chief Executive of the Lawn Tennis Association said: “I want to congratulate Elaine along with all our winners and nominees for this year’s British Tennis Awards.”
The number of entries reflected the huge passion for the game and highlighted how tennis touched the lives of people in a range of different ways, whether through disability programmes, education schemes or the fantastic work clubs did in their local communities.
“Our sport wouldn’t be what it is today without the support it receives at grassroots level.
“These winners and nominees along with the thousands of others up and down the country who give up their time to support our sport are the real heroes of British tennis,” added Mr Lloyd.
Tennis in the Park sessions are held on the courts every Saturday morning. Search for ‘Droitwich Tennis In The Lido Park’ for more information.
Visit www.lta.org.uk/volunteering for more on volunteering for British Tennis.