LAWN Tennis Association president David Rawlinson visited a number of top tennis clubs during a trip to Essex.

Accompanied by Essex County LTA council member Paul Marks, Rawlinson first visited Thorpe Bay Lawn Tennis Club.

There he met ECLTA chair Alan Rayner and was welcomed by members of the club's volunteer team.

David heard about the club's plans, particularly to expand floodlights, and problems, as with many clubs, in attracting and retaining volunteer support.

A holiday camp for six schools was being held with more than 90 under 11 players taking part.

David spoke to head coach Matt Bell and Paul Peniston, Ryan's dad, who is on court at Thorpe Bay most days.

David then moved down the road to Southend Padel where he met the team and played a competitive set of Padel.

Next was a visit to Billericay LTC, who were hosting the Essex Open.

He was welcomed by ECLTA President Richard Lehman and ECLTA Council members Mike Jones, Juliet O'Mahony and Richard Blackburn.

David met players, officials and volunteer team who updated him about plans to install a second bubble and other club improvements.

David's last venue was Thurrock LTC, a smaller club with 100 members who recently laid new carpet on their three courts and are applying for floodlight planning permission.

David played in a cardio session with 15 lady members and then a doubles and singles set with club members.


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