Tennis players in Beacon Park

An initiative in Lichfield to get more people playing tennis has won a national award.

The free scheme launched at Beacon Park in February 2016 and now sees more than 60 players taking part each week – with more than 640 picking up a racket for the first time since the sessions began.

Tennis players in Beacon Park

Now the Tennis for Free charity has given Lichfield the national Participation Award to mark the efforts to get more people on the court.

James Graney, Beacon Park Tennis Lead Coach, said: “Through rain or shine and even some snow, we have had a youngsters and grown-ups attending every week.

“We’ve had people new to tennis and some getting back into the sport. It has been a fantastic year in a wonderful setting and it has been a pleasure to help nearly 650 people play tennis for the first time.”

The free coach-led sessions for all ages take place between 2pm and 4pm every Sunday in Beacon Park, and people can register online to take part.

Tennis For Free CEO, Paul Jessop, said: “James and his team have done a great job nurturing the group.

“The whole idea of Tennis For Free is to give people the opportunity try tennis without any barriers and help them on their journey to play this amazing sport.

“To have helped nearly 650 people get into the sport is amazing but to have on average, 60 people playing every week, is testament to James’ hard work and enthusiasm.”

Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.