A TENNIS enthusiast from Ilkeston has been recognised for his dedication to the sport by winning Volunteer of the Year at the annual Derbyshire Tennis Awards.
Tony Buck, who received his accolade in front of 300 members of the Derbyshire Tennis community at the Pride Park Stadium in Derby, has played an integral role in turning Stanton Tennis Club into the largest club in Ilkeston since joining 13 years ago.
Central to that was a £63,083 grant from the Lawn Tennis Association to repair four outdoor courts, which the 73-year-old was instrumental in helping the club to secure.
On winning the award Tony said: “It was a complete surprise. I still have no idea who put me forward. I don’t do what I do to get recognition but it’s nice all the same.
“I love what I do; I was always brought up to volunteer and get a lot of satisfaction out of it.”
It took Tony just 18 months after joining the club, despite no tennis playing history, to take up the position of club secretary. He immediately decided that increasing the amount of junior members would stand the club in good stead so set about employing a coach.
This had the desired affect and today the club boasts nearly 100 members, with over half of those from the junior section.
Tony said: “The junior section is the life blood of the club so I felt it was important to focus our attention on that. And with the investment into the Rutland Sports Park courts we are perfectly placed in the centre of town by a number of large schools.
“Hopefully we can encourage a few of those children to come and play at Stanton.”
You can also find Tony organising the social-playing side of things and making sure tennis gets into schools through council activities.