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Caunton Tennis Club coach claims Nottinghamshire Lawn Tennis Association’s title for 2020

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A tennis coach has won a development award for the third time in six years.

James Harding, of Caunton Tennis Club and Tennis4all, has been named as Nottinghamshire Lawn Tennis Association’s development coach of year for 2020.

It is the third time Harding, head coach at Caunton, has won the award.

James Harding, of Caunton Tennis Club (45509269)
James Harding, of Caunton Tennis Club (45509269)

He accepted the award at a virtual ceremony.

“They couldn’t hold a proper awards night because of covid, so they delivered the trophy and told me I had won the week before (the virtual awards),” said Harding.

“I recorded a little speech to accept it and there was a bit of an online presentation.”

James Harding, of Caunton Tennis Club (45509259)
James Harding, of Caunton Tennis Club (45509259)

Harding said he had pushed to continue to deliver tennis during the three lockdowns.

“I was really proactive and kept people involved in the sport,” he said.

“Last year we had our online tournaments, virtual zoom sessions and different events over lockdown.

“We have actually managed to increase the numbers at the club, so the number of kids and adults at the club has maintained and we managed to get new members.”

He will now be put forward into the regional awards and, should he win, he will compete for the national title.

Harding hoped it would be a case of third time lucky having won the Nottinghamshire award in 2016 and 2018.

“I am hoping this year could be it,” he said.

He explained members from his club, and those involved in the game, could nominate coaches for the award.

The Lawn Tennis Association committee then chose the winner.

While Harding awaits a final decision, he said he was focussed on the club’s return to action as some restrictions were lifted on Monday.

The easing of lockdown meant outdoor organised sport could take place, with tennis clubs among those returning to service.

“We have everything starting up again for the juniors and the adults,” he said.

“Over Easter we have team matches, around eight junior team who will be competing in the Notts League, a road to Wimbledon junior tournament kicking off at club level and then we have the club championships starting in April.

“It is all systems go.”

For more information or to join the club, visit the Tennis4all website.

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