THE annual Essex Tennis Awards saw more than 60 nominations across 12 categories and a strong performance by local clubs and individuals.

The awards were presented by Sandi Proctor, LTA President, and Jill Osleger, Head of LTA East Region, with Paul Marks, LTA Councillor for Essex Tennis, and Richard Crone, Essex Tennis Awards Chair.

Michael Baggs, of Thorpe Bay LTC, won the star award of the evening, being presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Michael has been the heart and soul of Thorpe Bay LTC since the 1980s and served on the Essex Tennis Council for 18 years.

He was also instrumental in expanding Thorpe Bay’s junior programme into local schools and was Chairman of Essex Closed Junior Tournament Committee for 10 years.

Hadleigh Park won Essex Club of the Year.

Hadleigh saw membership up 18 per cent in the last year and offer free tennis for local schools and scout groups.

They continue to enhance their club and facilities and developed a custom digital tournament results and noticeboard which has contributed to participation levels increasing.

Graham Boosey won Official of the Year.

Graham runs the largest tournament programme in the area, with more than 1,000 players competing last year.

He officiates at the Play your Way 2 Wimbledon County Finals and has been a Referee at the Essex Junior County Championships for the last three years.

Will Bailes won Tournament of the Year for his organisation of the first ever Essex Padel Tennis Championships, held in September at Brentwood Padel Centre and involving 32 players from across the County.

The event was a huge success and was highlighted in the LTA Quarterly Newsletter as a model to be followed by other counties.