A KENDAL tennis coach has been recognised for his efforts and skill in teaching the sport to young people.

Jon Griffin won the Cumbria LTA Coach of the Year Award, which he received at the annual Cumbria LTA Awards ceremony held at The North Lakes Hotel and Spa in Penrith.

Mr Griffin has also been shortlisted for the LTA National Coach of the Year Award. He spoke to the Gazette about his passion for the sport and for coaching young people.

"We have got a good base of promising school teams going in the area. There are a lot of strong, good quality players," he said.

"The highlight at the moment is the mini tennis; those at the younger end of the spectrum, between five and ten years old. I like finding kids and developing them; taking them on at five years old and training them to become high level players.

"I am 46 and I have been coaching since I was 20. If what was your hobby can also be your job then it's a good life. It is very rewarding to see the kids develop."

Winning his award does not look set to change things for Mr Griffin, who plans to carry on as usual.

He employs one other coach and between them they coach for 90 hours a week, indoor and outdoor, all year round.

One thing Mr Griffin has highlighted as something he'd like to see change is the standard of the facilities in the area.

He said: "Having good indoor facilities would be a game changer. It would take the sport in Cumbria to another level.

"You get them in big cities, but not so much in rural areas."

Mr Griffin, as the Head Coach (South Lakes Tennis Clubs) and Cumbria County Boys Coach, oversees the entire coaching operation in the South Lakes. He is also the Sedbergh School coach.

He has vast experience of coaching, specialising in performance, talent identification and development of talent.

His elite training squads are based at Heversham and his players boast over a 100 County titles, over 30 regional titles and over the years he has coached players to national level.

Two of his players in recent years have received tennis scholarships to US universities and many of his ex players are now successful coaches.