A local sports volunteer is rubbing shoulders alongside tennis superstar Andy Murray after being honoured with a national award.
Ann Hill, who has run Glenrothes Tennis Club in the town for four years, scooped the prestigious Volunteer of the Year for 2015 award by Tennis Scotland – the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) governing body in Scotland – at an awards ceremony at Stirling University.
The accolade, one of the highest in Scottish tennis, recognised the dedication Ann has put in at grass roots level to promote the sport in the town, as well as acknowledging her involvement in a number of regional competitions and tournaments.
Ann’s award was announced alongside that of world ranked number two and recently crowned BBC Sports Personality of the Year winner Andy Murray, who himself received the International Player of the Year Award.
“It came as a complete shock. I was told I’d been short-listed which, in itself, was just great, but to be recognised in this way is a big surprise but a nice one at that,” Ann told the Gazette.
“Starting pretty much from scratch and without a permanent home, it’s been a full-time effort to put tennis back on the map in this town. Until the recent completion of Auchmuty school, Glenrothes didn’t even have any tennis courts. But this recognition has spurred us all on. We are really starting to go places with this club and 2016 will be a big year.”
As well as her Glenrothes connection, Ann is also involved in a number of other clubs and organisational bodies. She helps organise the competition and league tennis for a number of age groups in the region.
The Glenrothes Tennis club has come on leaps and bounds in the last couple of years, largely thanks to Ann’s dogged determination to make sure people of all ages have the opportunity to play.
With a £10,000 Lottery funding application currently being considered, the aim is to see the club making full use of the four new floodlit tennis courts now available at Auchmuty High School from April onwards.
“We want to deliver a comprehensive programme of coaching and social play and participate more fully in the Tayside Tennis adult leagues, as well as continuing our participation in the mixed doubles Henderson Vase,” explained Ann.
“And, for the first time, the club will host home matches and tournaments for adults and juniors.”