Volunteers’ recognition is smashing
TWO tennis volunteers from the North East are demonstrating how the sport in the region is bucking the national trend of a gender gap in sports volunteering.
Wendy Glasper and Rachel Doyle have won national accolades for their work in tennis and say investment in facilities and opportunities for more people to play can change lives across the region.
Glasper was named Volunteer of the Year at the 2017 British Tennis Awards and received a Pride of Light Award from Prime Minister Theresa May in recognition of her work with a successful network of visually-impaired tennis sessions in the region.
She set up and runs the VI tennis programme, with weekly sessions held in the region off the back of Glasper’s first VI club, which runs at Sunderland Tennis Centre and the Northumberland Club in Newcastle.
Doyle began volunteering as part of the award-winning Northumbria Student Volunteer Programme and feels her university experience has been hugely enhanced by the range of opportunities provided.
She said: “Once I began volunteering I found a new motivation for my course and new ideas about what to do after university.
“With more tennis facilities and programmes available around the region it is exciting there can be more opportunities than ever for students like me to volunteer.”
Joanna Cunliffe, Regional Participation Manager for the North East region at the Lawn Tennis Association, said: “Wendy and Rachel’s dedication demonstrates the importance of volunteers to tennis in the region.
“We are very proud of the awards they have achieved.
“It is a great example of how access to good facilities and making it easier for people to play increases participation.”
Rachel Doyle (centre) and Wendy Glasper (second right ) with the LTA’s Jo Cunliffe (second left) and visually-impaired tennis players attending Glasper’s Vi tennis programme at the Northumberland Club