A TENNIS star from Aberaeron has been recognised at the prestigious Tennis Wales Awards 2021, winning Official of the Year for his commitment to opening up tennis to the local community. 

From 1 – 12 March, Tennis Wales, in collaboration with the LTA, is awarding players, volunteers, coaches, clubs, and supporters across the nation for their achievements to keep tennis going over the last year.

Lockdown hasn’t stopped the national governing body for tennis in Wales from recognising – and celebrating – the extraordinary contributions of individuals going above and beyond to bring the sport to their communities. 

Among the ten winners is one local name: Colin Haldenby has been awarded Official of the Year, in recognition of his 47 years’ commitment to the development of tennis in Wales and internationally.

A founder of the Aberaeron Open ‘Tennis for All’ competition – established in 2002 – Colin has been bringing tennis to the Ceredigion community while also touring the world as a successful match official. Choosing to ‘hang up his clipboard’ and retire from officiating in 2020, Colin’s award recognises and thanks him for his dedication to keeping tennis an open and accessible sport for all who wish to take part. 

Colin’s nominator, Mark Lewis, said: “Over the years Colin evolved the Aberaeron Open as a ‘tournament  for everyone’ – a tennis tournament for people of all ages and abilities and a welcome opportunity for many players to experience playing in a competitive tennis environment.

“Colin’s advice has been invaluable in guiding the tournament in the right direction, and we’re pleased and satisfied to look back and think of some of the excellent players we have attracted (and developed) over the years.

“We are all eternally grateful to Colin for his commitment and enthusiasm in making the Aberaeron Open tournament a success over nearly 20 years.”

Tennis Wales Awards, in collaboration with the LTA, received hundreds of nominations across Wales. From the 500 volunteers, 200 coaches, 13,117 tennis club members, and 1,200 tennis

courts across Wales working to open up tennis to their communities, Tennis Wales is awarding ten categories in total. Winners from the Tennis Wales Awards will be automatically put forward for the UK-wide LTA Awards taking place in July 2021.

Simon Johnson, Tennis Wales CEO, said: “2020 was an extraordinary year, but the brilliant people who work with Tennis Wales across the country have helped keep the sport open and accessible even in tough times.

“The Tennis Wales Awards are a great way to recognise these incredible contributions, and we’re so pleased to be awarding Colin Haldenby for his commitment to keeping the community involved in tennis. We hope the Awards help to demonstrate that tennis really is for everyone, and that clubs across Wales are always going to welcome players old and new.”

For more information about the Tennis Wales Awards, and to find a club or coach near you, visit lta.org.uk/about-us/in-your-area/tennis-wales/