Regional Life Time Achievement Award – Neil Allen

Neil Allen from Swindon Tennis Centre was selected as the Regional Winner of the Lifetime Achievement Award for the South West region in the 2022 LTA Tennis Awards and below is a review of Neil’s fantastic presentation day:

The Lawn Tennis Association kindly arranged a very special day on Wednesday 15th June at the Queen’s  Club for all the regional winners of the various categories to be presented with their certificates  and trophies  by the president  David Rawlinson.

On the hottest day of the year we were met at the gates when they opened at 10.30am by three representatives from the LTA and taken over to the Partners Suite where there was a great view looking over the courts. At 11am there was an off court presentation of our trophies and a chance to meet and chat with one another.

Then at 12 0’clock we were taken to our great seats looking down on Centre Court to watch the first match on court. The arrangement was made that at half way through the second set we would make our way to the tunnel at the side of the court ready for the formal on court presentation in front of the spectators  (around 9000 that day). Now every tournament organiser or referee will know what happened next – the players split the two opening sets and the match went on for another hour or so and so we waited on in the tunnel.

However the moment came when each of the award winners were introduced as we walked across Centre Court bathed in sunshine with applause from the crowd to line up with LTA President. It was a truly special and memorable experience.

We then had afternoon tea in the Partners Suite before returning to our seats to watch some more tennis including our great prospect Jack Draper.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Wiltshire Tennis for the original nomination and then South  and South West Region for their award which led to me being in the last six at the National Finals. A special mention for Sharon Heeley, Head of Region who spent the whole day with us and ensured it was a very special day for all of us.

Neil Allen

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