Disability scheme nets tennis centre top regional award

John Taylor, front holding the trophy, with Jo Dallas Portsmouth Tennis Centre manager, Dan Jolliffe, Macca Neaves and Peter Gunn BH Lives chief executive.
John Taylor, front holding the trophy, with Jo Dallas Portsmouth Tennis Centre manager, Dan Jolliffe, Macca Neaves and Peter Gunn BH Lives chief executive.
From left, Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts, Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones, and Isle of Wight Council leader Jonathan Bacon sign the formal application for a Solent Combined Authority in 2016

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TENNIS players have been buoyed after the city’s centre was handed an award for its disability scheme.

Portsmouth Tennis Centre, run by BH Live with Portsmouth City Council, was given the regional Aegon British Tennis Award.

Inclusive tennis sessions are run for people with conditions including visual impairment, mental health and behavioural issues, brain injuries, Down’s syndrome and people who use a wheelchair.

The session are supported by the Portsmouth Disability Network.

Jo Dallas, manager of the Alex Way centre said: ‘The programme has already changed so many people’s lives by giving them confidence to do something which at first they didn’t believe was possible.

‘It has also created affordable and accessible opportunities for everyone in our local community to enjoy playing tennis – getting more people more active in a very social and welcoming environment.’

The award has been given out by the Lawn Tennis Association and the Tennis Foundation.

Now the centre will go ahead in the national competition, with a ceremony being held on July 4.

David Evans, the city council’s leisure and sports facilities manager added: ‘It is an honour for Hampshire to have a regional winner in the first year of the Aegon British Tennis Awards.

‘The contribution towards local tennis in Portsmouth has been outstanding and the award is fully deserved.

‘We wish BH Live and the team at the tennis centre every luck as they now go forward to be judged by a national panel for the title of national award winner.’