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TFF End of Year Awards 2017

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It's that time of year again when we reflect on the great work of our TFF sites and shortlist and reward those outstanding ones. We are hugely appreciative of the great work so many different people do for Tennis For Free in creating fantastic tennis communities across the UK. We look forward to working with you again in 2018.

The WINNERS of these awards (chosen by the trustees of TFF) were announced on New Years Day. Please take a look at the winners and nominations below.



PYPE HAYES PARK (North Birmingham) - WINNER

The 2015 winner is back in the running again for Site of the Year due to a number of factors. Pype Hayes Park has the highest number of attendances of any site (having surpassed the 6700 attendances mark) and for attendances in 2017 it has come 3rd overall. It’s the most cost efficient site based on a cost per attendance ratio and it’s had the accolade of lobbying the courts to be resurfaced on the back of the hard work put in from the local community, council and local LTA. If all that wasn’t enough, they also managed to get world number 13 female tennis player Kristina Mladenovic to come down to the official opening of the new courts in the Summer. All in all, a fantastic year for Pype Hayes Park.

MANOR PARK (Aldershot)

TFF’s original site (launched in 2003) is still going very strong and is TFF’s best example of how community groups get stronger and stronger. Run entirely by the local community, the site self fundraises for its equipment and lead coach with all other deliverers offering their time voluntary. Due to the success of TFF over the years in reinvigorating the courts throughout the week, the courts have been completely refurbished with money from the Veolia trust. Despite being an old site, the scheme at Manor Park still attracts a very healthy number of new players each month and with its recent uptake of the Courtline system, those stats will be seen by all in 2018.

BEACON PARK (Lichfield)

Featuring in the top 6 of all stats categories, Beacon Park is a solid producer of new tennis players in the city of Lichfield. However, it’s not just these stats that have put Beacon Park in the running for Site of the Year, it’s the incredible local tennis community that have formed themselves into a registered charity and are currently in the process of leasing the courts from the council to enable the facility to do bigger and better things. The park courts already feature a wide range of additional tennis sessions organised by the community but with the facility soon to be under the control of the community charity, Beacon Park are a fantastic example of what a tennis community can do for the local area. With facility improvement almost signed off, the TFF community managing the facility and top 6 stats performance in every category, Beacon Park is a strong contender for Site of the Year.


Top of the table for TFF session attendances in 2017 and second for attracting the most individual attendees, the wider programme of tennis activity at Lampton Park is well service by this power house of a tennis supply chain. Having attracted more than 6500 attendances at the site since it started, only Pype Hayes Park has seen more attendances on its courts. Lampton Park also has a volunteer delivering the Parent & Child Group and a former attendee (now a qualified tennis coach) heading up the Improvers+ Group.


ST MARY’S PARK (Prestwich)

Starting very late in the year (October), TFF weren’t expecting that this site could attract an incredible 445 attendances to its sessions and achieve an average attendance of 41 players per week in the late Autumn and Winter months. Proving that tennis is not a summer sport, an incredible 273 different people have tried the Tennis For Free session since October at St Mary’s Park.


With 373 individual people registered as playing at the TFF sessions in Christchurch Park, this site has nestled itself in the top 5 of all TFF sites in 2017 for most new players enrolled on the TFF scheme. Linked to Ipswich Sports Club, the club have actively been engaged with the supply chain of new tennis players and run a variety of wider programme sessions at the park.


Hillborough Park see their nomination for Best New Site largely on the back of a fantastic collaboration of partners all forming to create a fantastic TFF environment. Sheffield City Council, the LTA and Parks Tennis CIC have all gone the extra mile to create a vibrant TFF session that has seen 467 attendances on TFF sessions since it launched in late Summer.


Dollar Park in Falkirk launched late in 2017, but despite this, their incredible networking and strong local community have attracted 216 people to TFF in just a couple of months. With an average of 31 players in attendance at TFF throughout the late Autumn and Winter months puts Dollar Park in the Running for Best New Site.



The lead coach at both Gilbertstone Park and Shirley Park has had a huge influence on the local communities at both of these sites in Solihull (Shirley Park) and South Birmingham (Gilbertstone Park). Shirley Park narrowly missing out on a nomination for Best New Site has seen an incredible community develop with 767 attendances since it launched in early Summer, whilst Gilbertstone Park which was a previously struggling site under its former management, has now had a complete turn around and is starting to make great inroads as a high performing TFF Site. Matt and his teams have also had great success in developing solid community groups with both sites enjoying the fruits of a strong tennis community in their areas.


Paul has spearheaded one of the largest attendance bases any TFF sites has seen in just a few months of operation. With a total of 273 enrolled players creating a total of 445 attendances from an October launch has firmly cemented Paul’s nomination of Coach of the Year.


Lampton Park has the most attendances of 2017 and the second most individual attendees of any TFF site. One of the biggest reasons for this very impressive set of stats, is Parminder’s fantastic rapport with the local community. Parminder was once a TFF attendee himself before undertaking a Level 1 coaching course in 2015 and embedding himself as one of the TFF Coaching team.


John has been a loyal lead coach for TFF since 2013 and together with his son (Glenn) form the backbone of the TFF scheme at Devonport Park in Plymouth. John’s nomination comes on the back of another solid year where despite being an established older site with just 3 courts, his site has seen 1518 attendances in 2017 which puts Devonport Park 5th in the overall table for attendances.



Danny has been a volunteer at Sefton Park for 3 years and volunteers in administration and session delivery. Danny has completed over 300 on court volunteering hours over the past 3 years and has also now qualified as an LTA Level 1 coach. Danny is an essential member of the team who volunteers and gets involved in pretty much all areas.


Phil has been at the heart of the community at Beacon Park and has spearheaded the creation of the charitable trust out of the Beacon Park Tennis Community Group. Aside from being a regular volunteer at the TFF sessions, Phil’s focus on getting the group charitable status to enhance the activities at Beacon Park have put him in a strong position for TFF’s volunteer of the year.


Trevor is a key member of the team at Lampton Park and has been volunteering for more than 2.5 years delivering the Parent & Child Group session. Lampton Park has been the busiest of all TFF sites in 2017 and Trevor’s enthusiasm and commitment to the scheme have certainly been one of the main reasons for this success.


ALAN WILLIAMS (Hillsborough Park)

Alan has been instrumental in setting up the TFF scheme at Hillsborough Park. Aside from being a key member of the newly established tennis community at the site, he has gone over and above his employed council position to get the scheme embedded and running successfully week on week.

JOHN JONES "Wolfie” (Hednesford Park) - WINNER

"Wolfie" has been coming to TFF since the first session at Hednesford Park back in 2015 on the back of a recommendation from a GP referral scheme. Since then, "Wolfie” has recorded more attendances than any other TFF attendee across the UK. At the age of 64 years, John values the physical and social benefits the Hednesford Park scheme provides and was also featured on a Television piece this year showcasing TFF in Mental Health Awareness week.

KAT ORANOVIC (Beacon Park)

Kat came back into Tennis after a 10 year break following the launch of TFF Beacon Park in Lichfield. The TFF scheme rekindled the enthusiasm and love of the game and despite being a regular attendee of the scheme, she’s also become a board member of the newly set up charitable trust that the community group at Beacon Park have formed. Formerly a full time tennis player in Slovenia where she played with Alex Bedene, Kat now plays in the LTA local leagues and in the Staffordshire league for Lichfield Friary tennis club and is loving her tennis again.



The great individual successes of St Mary’s Park and Hillsborough Park put this region in a great position for Region of the Year.


The vast majority of TFF Sites launched this year came from the Midlands and the vast majority of them are performing well.
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