A TENNIS club in Newport and a coach working across Gwent have both been applauded for their commitment to keeping the sport afloat during lockdown.

Tennis Wales has launched a scheme applauding clubs, volunteers, coaches, supporters and players around Wales.

As part of this, Allt-yr-yn Lawn Tennis Club has been named Club of the Year, while Kari Davies was named Development Coach of the Year.

South Wales Argus: Allt-yr-Yn Lawn Tennis Club

Allt-yr-yn Lawn Tennis Club 

Both were nominated by local supporters, with Allt-yr-yn gaining the coveted prize for its commitment to opening up tennis across Newport and increasing its membership within the local community even while in lockdown.

The club was forced to close its shutters for the first time since opening in 1927 during lockdown - but continued to engage across social media and extensive research into funding options, allowing the organisation to pull through and offer all members safe coaching and playing opportunities as soon as it was able to re-open.


The Tennis Wales judging panel said: "Allt-yr-yn proactively engaged with their members during and post lockdown, and increased their membership by over 100 once tennis was reopened. To be able to increase reserves during a pandemic is a fine achievement."

Kari Davies, who has been coaching for many years, was nominated and crowned the winner following her efforts to keep tennis accessible across the wider Newport, Chepstow, Caldicot, and Monmouthshire areas.

From setting up courts on football pitches to producing ‘from home’ videos for young players of all abilities, Ms Davies' commitment to opening up tennis led to multiple nominations in her name.

South Wales Argus: Kari Davies - Development Coach of the Year

Kari Davies

Nominator Jane Elson said: “My son has learning difficulties and issues with speech and language. It is difficult to find activities where he is welcome, but right from my first contact with Kari she has been open to working with us to find a way to get him involved.

“His confidence and skills have grown beyond anything we could have imagined possible in a group session. He has made some firm friends, made steady progress, and loves the game. Kari seems to have a knack with those who may find it harder to access sport, and she is always willing to talk about any issues that arise and give advice.”

Tennis Wales Awards, in collaboration with the LTA (the Lawn Tennis Association), received hundreds of nominations across Wales. From the 500 volunteers, 200 coaches, 13,117 tennis club members, and 1,200 tennis courts across Wales working to open up tennis to their communities, Tennis Wales is awarding ten categories in total. Winners from the Tennis Wales Awards will be automatically put forward for the UK-wide LTA Awards taking place in July 2021.

Simon Johnson, Tennis Wales chief executive, said: “2020 was an extraordinary year, but the brilliant people who work with Tennis Wales across the country have helped keep the sport open and accessible even in tough times.

“The Tennis Wales Awards are a great way to recognise these incredible contributions, and we’re so pleased to be awarding Newport locals Allt-yr-Yn LTC and Kari Davies for their commitment to keeping the community involved in tennis. We hope the Awards help to demonstrate that tennis really is for everyone, and that clubs across Wales are always going to welcome players old and new.”

For more information about the Tennis Wales Awards, and to find a club or coach near you, visit lta.org.uk/about-us/in-your-area/tennis-wales

The Club of the Year award was sponsored by Chiltern Sports Contractors, and the Development Coach of the Year was sponsored by Dragon Signs.