A North Tyneside couple are celebrating after being honoured by sports chiefs for their sterling efforts to boost Cullercoats Lawn Tennis Club.
Dave and Sue Simpson won the adult volunteers of the year gong at the Northumberland Lawn Tennis Association annual awards, which was held at the Northumberland Club in Jesmond.
The Simpsons, who live in Whitley Bay, were praised by northern regional development officer for the LTA Jo Cunliffe for their efforts, which has seen Cullercoats thrive on the junior tennis front.
“Their energy, passion and total commitment to junior tennis are without bounds,” said Jo.
“Dave and Sue spend hours making junior tennis at our club safe, accessible and fun for all children from the age of three to 16. Cullercoats LTC is proud to know them and lucky to have them.”
The couple’s interest in tennis developed as they supported their own two boys, Jordan and Dan, as they progressed from junior to senior level both at club and county level.
They took over as Cullercoats’ junior organisers four seasons ago and have since seen the club go from strength to strength with scores of children heading to the seaside club every Saturday morning for coaching sessions.
“Now 26 junior teams represent Cullercoats in the winter and summer Aegon and Northumberland and Durham Leagues, which is a fantastic number of junior teams competing annually for a small club,” Jo added.
“They are at the club at 9am every Saturday to greet parents of the tots and mini-red groups for the younger players with a welcome cup of tea and a friendly chat, and to watch excellent coaching sessions up to the ages of 16 as the day goes on.”
They also organise the junior club annual summer tournament ensuring fair play as well as fun for everyone, and they even organise the club’s annual awards’ presentation evening.
Their 19-year-old son Jordan, who is one of the leading players in Northumberland, gave them further cause for celebration as he won the Development Coach of the Year for up-and-coming coaches.
The Simpsons’ success was underlined at the annual awards evening as Cullercoats youngsters picked up a string of regional honours.
Emma Charlton, Lydia Clark, Stephanie Black and Rachel Foreman were celebrating after winning the under-14 girls’ summer Aegon League
The under-8s mini red mixed team, comprising Sam Knowles, Paul Freeman, Max Boxshall and Zoe Parkin, were crowned Northumberland Winter League champions and the same quartet won the under-9 orange summer Aegon League mixed team title.
Also tasting success was the Cullercoats under-10 boys’ team of Peter Whitehouse, Dominic Wilson-Baker and Alfie and Archie Stokes who won the summer Aegon League.