The Lillian Mitchell Memorial Trophy is awarded to Joey Coleman at Dunmow Tennis Club
- Credit: Dunmow Tennis Club
Junior tennis coaching resumed at Dunmow Tennis Club on Saturday, for the first time since the coronavirus lockdown started more than five months ago.
Pupils were the first to play on courts which have been resurfaced for the first time in 17 years and repainted.
There was still social distancing in place and smaller group sizes.
Great Dunmow Mayor Mike Coleman joined head coach Ollie Clarke Ollie to mark the occasion.
The mayor said: “It is a great pleasure to see the courts back in use following LTA guidelines at this time.
“It is essential that every opportunity is taken to re-open sports facilities in a safe manner – especially for the young – providing an enhancement for fitness and health.”
Mr Clarke said: “It’s great to see them getting back to some sort of normality.
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“I have been running the groups for the last 15 years and this has been the longest time off which felt really strange.
“I missed coaching the children and missed working alongside my coaching team so it feels amazing to be back doing what we do best.”
Junior tennis player Joey Coleman, the mayor’s grandson, was awarded the Lillian Mitchell Memorial Trophy.
Lillian Mitchell, who passed away in 2017, was the ladies captain, a committee member and a big supporter of the junior programme.
Mr Clarke said: “This trophy was awarded to Joey this year as over the last year has made huge strides with all aspects of his tennis game and is just a complete joy to teach.
“His attitude to training is second to none, always gives 100 percent and strives to be the best he possibly can be, and all with a huge smile on his face whilst being kind and encouraging to all of his peers.”
At the end of September the club also has a tournament where adult and junior members pair up and battle it out for the The Lillian Mitchell Generation Tournament.
The Saturday programme regularly has over 100 juniors spaced in groups across the day and runs all year as does the midweek programme. In total the whole programme has over 200 pupils attending coaching, with a mixture of juniors aged four upwards to adults of 70 plus. The programme has grown year on year in popularity.