Shropshire's Pat Clarke delighted to be selected as a regional winner in British Tennis Awards
Shropshire’s Pat Clarke has been selected as a regional winner in this year’s British Tennis Awards.
One of 10 category winners when Tennis Shropshire held its annual awards ceremony in November, Pat, who is chair at Broseley Tennis Club, has now scooped the prestigious regional prize as Midlands volunteer of the year.
Launched in 2015, the Lawn Tennis Association’s British Tennis Awards, held in conjunction with 40 county/national tennis associations, were introduced to highlight the contribution of those supporting the grassroots of the sport.
Pat is one of 70 regional winners from across Great Britain, having been selected from a record 1,500 nominations for the 10 categories.
The winners from five regions in England will now join the 10 winners from each of Scotland and Wales in being considered for the national shortlist in each of their respective categories.
Those that make the shortlist will be invited to Wimbledon for the LTA Tennis Awards event in July when the overall winners will be announced.
As a Midlands winner, Pat will collect her regional award at the Nature Valley Birmingham Classic women’s tennis tournament at Edgbaston Priory Tennis Club next month.
Apart from having the chance to watch world class tennis, she and her husband Jim will enjoy lunch at Edgbaston on June 18.
"It's lovely to be recognised,” said Pat. “Volunteers do lots of work, but you just get on with it as I'm really committed to Broseley Tennis Club.
"Through researching it, Broseley was one of the first tennis clubs in the county, established in 1895, so as a local club I'm keen that it continues to serve its community by providing a caring, friendly and safe environment for tennis to carry on here. I suppose you could say it's a legacy for the future.
“I’m looking forward to the day at Edgbaston Priory - and I’m also going two days later as I had already booked tickets to watch the tennis."
Pat has been chair at Broseley, her home town club, for the last 10 years and is also the club’s joint secretary, a role she previously held from 1987 to 2005.
She recently spearheaded the club’s successful fund-raising campaign to raise £30,000 for Broseley’s courts to be resurfaced.
Pat helps arrange tournaments and other events at the club, captains Broseley's Autumn League side, organises the club’s Wimbledon ballot each year and also helped set up the club website and acts as media officer.
Her many other roles include being kept busy collecting and recycling used tennis balls to raise additional funds for the club.
Simon Jones, the chair of Tennis Shropshire, added: “Pat’s been involved in tennis across the county for many, many years, so to see somebody rewarded for all the effort she’s put in at Broseley is just fantastic.
“She’s been involved with everything at the club, from growing the membership, to serving on the committee, to looking after the courts.
"She also impressively led the campaign over the last three years to raise £30,000 for court refurbishments at the club.
“We are really proud of Pat and all the excellent volunteers who give so much to their tennis clubs around Shropshire.”
Pictured: Pat Clarke, second left, collected her county prize as volunteer of the year in the British Tennis Awards at Tennis Shropshire’s presentation dinner in November from Jilly Broadbent, the Tennis Shropshire president, Shrewsbury Town FC chief executive Brian Caldwell and Adam Wharf, the director of performance tennis at The Shrewsbury Club.