Seaton Tennis Club’s talented junior Emma Hurst and her coach Derek Blackmore were recognised at the Devon LTA AGM and Awards’ night at Exeter’s David Lloyd Tennis Centre, writes Belinda Bawden.

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Emma Hurst was awarded Devon LTA Junior County Colours for making an outstanding contribution to Devon Junior tennis. National Junior Emma is now ranked fifth nationally in the U18s, and 82nd nationally in the the Women’s Open rankings. She is the number one seed for the U18 Girls’ Devon Team competing in the County Cup at Tarka, Barnstaple on 28th February. Emma’s coach, Derek Blackmore, also received an award for being nominated as Devon Coach of the Year.

Emma was also runner up with a silver medal in the finals of the U18s National Tour Finals at Bath a few weeks ago. The Colyton Grammar School student has also found time to qualify as an LTA Level 2 Coaching Assistant and hits with juniors and adults at the club.

Derek Blackmore was nominated for Devon Coach of the Year by Seaton Tennis Club for his positive contribution to adult tennis at the club, as well as his success with Emma and other juniors. Derek’s coaching sessions have welcomed large numbers of adults keen to improve their tennis skills, including ‘rusty rackets’ returning to tennis after time out, and individuals aspiring to match play.

He has encouraged team players with fun, energetic doubles coaching sessions; his skills and professionalism have certainly benefitted the Ladies B team as it is currently 36 points ahead of the nearest rival in its first season in the Winter League! Derek also fosters tennis social gatherings, organising club tournaments, tennis weekends and holidays overseas.

He has, in addition, over many years, supported and encouraged many young coaches beginning their tennis careers.

Seaton Tennis Club chairman Andy Butcher praised both Derek and Emma’s outstanding success and contributions to the development of the club saying: “The profile of Seaton Tennis Club has been raised in Devon as the result of these awards which are thoroughly deserved and I would like to thank them both for their significant contributions over the years.”

Seaton Tennis Club’s Open Day will be held on Saturday, April 5. For more news on all things Seaton tennis Club visit www.seatontennis.net or contact Jeremy Warner the club membership secretary by email at seatontennis@gmail.com or by phone on 07973506312.

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