Exeter Golf and Country Club is celebrating a double win at the Devon LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) Awards.
Head of Rackets, James Temple was awarded ‘Young Tennis Coach of the Year’, with trainee coach Tom Slack winning ‘Volunteer of the Year’. Exeter Golf and Country Club was a finalist for the prestigious ‘Club of the Year’.
James has worked as a tennis coach since the age of 16. He stared coaching in Wiltshire before moving to Devon, working at Exeter Tennis Centre, Victoria Park and Exwick Tennis Club before joining Exeter Golf and Country Club in 2011.
Devon LTA selected James as the ‘Young Coach of the Year’ for his unrivalled commitment to tennis in the county and at Exeter Golf and Country Club. Devon LTA said, “James is very much the lynchpin of tennis at Exeter Golf and Country Club on whom the captains, committee and section members in general all rely for the co-ordination and smooth running of tennis. Through him and his coaching team junior tennis at the club has been established as a significant reputational and playing force within Devon. This year he has overseen the arrangements for replacement of 4 of the 6 club courts and put in place an interim booking structure to keep members happy allowing them to continue playing their regular sports with minimal disruption. He is always willing to make up the numbers for social tennis in addition to his commitments to coaching and team matches.”
James said, “I am delighted to have been chosen to win this prestigious award. I consider it to be the ultimate recognition for my efforts over the past few years. I am very passionate about tennis, particularly developing youngsters and watching their skills progress. Tennis is a huge part of my life and this has certainly been the best start to 2016 I could have wished for.”
As well as adult coaching, James has emerged as a talented youth coach and has enjoyed many successes during the past year. Mini Tennis at Exeter Golf and Country Club has grown in numbers and strength. In 2015 the Club’s 10 and under, 12 and under boys and 16 and under girls teams all won their respective divisions in the Devon Aegon Team Tennis competitions. The Club is also heavily involved in the Devon LTA Mini Tennis tour, hosting many tournaments throughout the year in which many of the club’s juniors compete.
James’ efforts span county wide as last year he worked with the East Devon Tennis League to introduce a new regional competition at Exeter Golf and Country Club. Following the success of the 2015 East Devon Open another event is already in the pipeline for this year.
Tennis at Exeter Golf and Country Club is expanding and with the £120K investment in new courts last autumn, this pattern is expected to continue. The resurfaced courts have meant year round play regardless of the wet weather and this winter the courts have remained open and playable every day.
The efforts of Tom Slack were also recognised by Devon LTA. He was named ‘Young Volunteer of the Year’ as reward for his dedication over the last two years in assisting the club’s coaches with the Saturday morning mini tennis, weekday squads and junior competitions. Tom is also one to watch as he commences his level one tennis coaching qualification this weekend, funded by Exeter Golf and Country Club, following his voluntary commitment to the club’ tennis programme.
With a competitive adult tennis section enjoying two major wins last season, including the club’s Men’s A Team and Mixed A Team topping the Winter Leagues with James as captain of both, it seems exciting times are ahead with the forthcoming summer season.
James continued, “I am proud to work at a progressive club like Exeter Golf and Country Club where investment in the facilities and team is such a priority. It’s been fantastic to see Tom’s dedication to the section over the last few years and the impact that this has had with other juniors looking to follow his example. Along with Tim Agutter, who is an integral part of the tennis section at the club, I would like to thank the tennis section at Exeter Golf and Country Club for all their support over the past few years.”