It's that time of year where we reflect on a great Tennis For Free year and give that extra recognition to those sites, players, volunteers and coaches that have gone the extra mile to achieve something spectacular.
The nominations for the following awards are as follows:
SITE OF THE YEAR
POOLE PARK (Poole) - If attendance stats alone determined site of the year, then Poole Park would have got the award sewn up by the Autumn. A powerhouse driver of new players to the sport of tennis, Poole Park has averaged 63 attendees per week across the whole year and at the height of Summer, was the only site to break the 100 mark for a weekly attendance stat. With more than 1000 attendances more than any other TFF site in 2019 and with an introduction of 516 new players to Tennis (second only to Hednesford Park), Poole Park's is a deserved nomination for 'Site of the Year'.
HEDNESFORD PARK (Cannock) - As the site with most individual attendees taking part in TFF this year added to the well supported wider programme of activities (including a popular GP referral scheme linked to the session), Hednesford Park has had a fantastic 2019. It's also a site that is nearing the 10,000 attendances milestone with only Pype Hayes ahead of them in that accolade.
PYPE HAYES PARK (Birmingham) - Due to the fact that Pype Hayes Park is a site that has never been outside the top 5 in the stats league table, this site is about to reach the incredible TFF milestone of being the first TFF site to pass the 10,000 attendances milestone. This is without doubt a truly incredible achievement as is their ability to stay towards the top in terms of attendances every year.
MANOR PARK (Aldershot) - WINNER - Manor Park has had an incredible year. Sitting in second place (behind Poole Park) in terms of overall attendances and in 4th place in terms of individual attendees, these are just their secondary successes. Without doubt, Manor Park's primary achievement for its nomination as 'Site of the Year' is the fact they have achieved these incredible stats through a volunteer led workforce supporting just a single paid coach. This has meant that Manor Park is by far the most "cost efficient" producer of new tennis players for Tennis For Free charity and is testament to the sustainability of the TFF scheme with Manor Park now in its 16th year of operation (the joint original TFF site).
ABBEY FIELDS (Kenilworth) - A new TFF site with huge potential that has consistently achieved great stats since its launch. Whilst tough to compete with the more established and long standing sites for Site of the Year stories, Abbey Fields gets its entry for its fantastic start to the TFF campaign.
COACH OF THE YEAR
BRETT TOWNSEND - WINNER - The lead coach of the highest stats performing site of the year (Poole Park), Brett has spearheaded a scheme that contributed to him winning Dorset Coach of the Year for November and has one of the largest Tennis For Free followings on Facebook. His enthusiasm for the TFF ethos and growing of TFF's largest tennis community of 2019, put him as a solid contender for 'Coach of the Year'. Brett also fundraised continuation of the TFF scheme through the Winter via grant funding enabling the scheme to run for the entire year.
DAVID ARULANANDAM - As the coach of the original TFF site at Joseph Hood Rec Ground in Merton, David is as fresh on the court today as his first day 16 years ago. Not only is David TFF's longest serving coach but he also voluntarily works as a coach at a second TFF site in Tam Rec, Mitcham. In addition, David's Joseph Hood Recreation Ground site is also in the top 10 highest attended TFF sites and is also very cost effective with David managing a team of volunteer coaches and assistants as the remainder of his team.
RYAN PRESTON - Ryan heads up the TFF scheme at Pype Hayes and is about to hold the incredible accolade of getting a TFF site beyond 10,000 attendances. Ryan's Pype Hayes Park has always been in the top 5 sites for attendances since the scheme began back in 2015.
GARETH BALCH - Gareth heads up a recently launched TFF site in Maidenbower and his nomination for Coach of the Year comes as a result of this site being the best performing of all new TFF sites with an incredible 514 attendances of TFF sessions since the mid Summer. We're very much looking forward to seeing Maidenbower's stats from a full TFF year of activity.
RYAN FEARN - Ryan heads up Boscawen Park in Truro which is a relatively new TFF site but has achieved great consistency in stats since launch. Ending the year in 13th position in terms of new players brought into TFF, Ryan has created a solid foundation and a committed team to potentially produce great TFF stories int he coming year.
VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR
Our Volunteer of the YEar award goes to Coolen Peryandan for his work at Heavitree Park in Exeter. Coolen has been a regular player and volunteer assisting with the delivery of the session each week. What is standout from Coolen above the many volunteers that work for TFF (that we're all tremendously grateful for) is his drive to be involved in TFF activities outside of the session. Coolen assists the delivery team in all administration and promotional duties of Heavitree Park and without him, the site would be a shadow of what it currently is.
PLAYER OF THE YEAR
Our player of the year goes to Reece Cambell from Hednesford Park in Cannock. Reece is a player suffering autism at the high end of the spectrum and together with his carer and built TFF as part of their lives. The confidence and social skills he has developed in attending TFF sessions is the reason for his player of the year award added to the incredible frequency of his attendances (over the past 3 years).