Fresh from being named Devon’s club of the year, Tavistock Tennis Club has just been crowned one of only five regional winners nationally by the Lawn Tennis Association.

After claiming the county honour in February, the club was entered into the South and South West category, and its great work over the past year clearly impressed the panel of LTA judges. As a result, a representative from the club will be presented with a trophy and certificate at one of the LTA’s blue riband grass-court tournaments this summer along with other winners from around the country.

Tavistock’s new chair, Zoe Llewellyn, was quick to praise her predecessor, Pete Rodgers, who oversaw many of the innovations and initiatives which led to this latest recognition.

She said: ‘I am delighted that Tavistock Tennis Club has been voted the regional club of the year by the LTA. It is a fitting tribute to Pete’s unwavering dedication as previous chair, to our captains and their commitment to their teams and to our lead coach, who has managed and developed new tennis programs over the last two years so very well. As the new chair I look forward to growing the club from strength to strength, giving all persons within the area the opportunity to play tennis and become an integral part of this sporting community.’

The annual LTA Tennis Awards highlight the achievements and contributions of people in tennis across Britain. Winners are judged from thousands of public nominations from the 38 county associations, with the county winners going through to regional awards. As South and South West winner, TTC will now progress as a national finalist alongside those from Tennis Scotland and Tennis Wales. If it makes it into the top three in the club category, the club will be invited to the national ceremony on July 4 at the National Tennis Centre.

Tavistock Tennis Club has been riding high on its success after it benefited from a boost during covid when, with the lifting of lockdown in the summer of 2020, people headed back to the courts. In June of that year, the club on Plymouth Road reported that it had many new members — taking advantage of the fact that while contact sports were still banned to avoid spreading the virus, racquet sports were not. Then-club chairman Pete Rodgers said: ‘We were shut for a while. Back in March, the Lawn Tennis Association said we couldn’t continue with the Covid-19 situation and so we had to close. Then the Government said you can do certain sports like golf and tennis so we were able to open up again, with precautions like bringing your own racquets and staying on your side of the net. I think people want to exercise and a few families thought they’d give it a go because of the half price offer we’ve got going at the moment.

‘It is just great to see it being used. I think tennis clubs can be seen as a bit snooty but we really are not snooty and we would welcome even more members, the more the better. We have a great resource in the middle of Tavistock park there and we want to see it used as much as possible.’