Graves Health & Sports Centre, managed by Places Leisure on behalf of Sheffield City Council, was nominated for the awards due to its achievements in last few years developing tennis in Sheffield and Yorkshire.
In two and a half years the centre has seen incredible growth in tennis, with participation rising from 169 to 604.
The centre prides itself on making tennis a sport for everyone, from local talent entering their newly developed tournament programme, to getting beginners and younger kids interested by hosting ‘The Great British Tennis Weekend’, which gives children in Sheffield the chance to try tennis for free and learn more about the game.
Graves also work hard to make the sport more accessible for those with disabilities, with a tennis programme for people with learning disabilities and tennis sessions for wheelchair users.
Alasdair Ford, Sports Development Manager for Graves Health & Sports Centre, said:
We are delighted to receive this recognition by the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) for the growth and development of tennis that we have achieved this year and would like to thank all of our tennis players, their families and staff for supporting Graves Health and Sports Centre. With help from the LTA we have been able to nurture tennis talent within Sheffield from grassroots to performance level.
At the Yorkshire LTA awards night they saw Head Coach win the prestigious Coach of the Year 2018 Award. Sam Salt has been an integral part of the tennis team and worked hard at developing tennis in Sheffield. Sam Salt commented:
I would like to thank all of the staff, coaches, parents and players at Graves for their daily commitment to making the Centre a better place to coach and train. I am delighted with the progress we have made over the last 2.5 years and these awards are testament to a fantastic team effort from everyone at the Centre.
Looking to the future, Graves are part of Sheffield City Council’s Move More strategy to make Sheffield the UK’s most active city by 2020. They are aiming to maximise tennis participation across the city working in partnership with local schools, clubs and community project organisations.
Cllr Mary Lea, Cabinet Member for Culture, Parks and Leisure at Sheffield City Council, said: “We are so pleased to hear about the success of our leisure partner Places Leisure, they deserve this recognition for all their hard work. They have more than tripled the number of participants in their tennis programme over the last two and a half years by ensuring tennis is available to everyone. This can only be a good thing for the people of Sheffield.”