Tribute to Arthur Allen as he Retires as Chair of the Tennis & Multisports Club

At the Great Massingham Tennis and Multisports Club AGM and Christmas Party, the club paid tribute to Arthur Allen as he officially retired as Chair of the Club.

The Club thanked Arthur for his huge contribution as Chair and recalled the impact of his efforts…..Around 10 years ago Arthur set about improving the courts and recruiting more tennis players, firstly by playing on Sunday mornings with the likes of Susie Baines, Annie and Peter Lawton and then by introducing other club sessions during the week. Word soon got around and the club sessions became popular, with Arthur bringing tea and coffee in flasks for a refreshment break! (He continued doing this for several years, until the little kitchen was refurbished and up and running)

As participation grew, a committee was formed in 2014 and Arthur was unanimously elected as Chair.  He encouraged Massingham players to enter the local leagues, set up a twinning partnership with a club in France and was always looking to improve the club’s facilities. In addition to his role as Chair, Arthur was also ‘Court Keeper’ which involved regularly spraying the court with moss killer and organising working parties to fill in the holes, using cups of tarmac, a spoon and hammer! As well as supporting tennis over the years Arthur, along with Mel Whitmore, also helped to organise the village team for the Inter-Village Sports competition in which Massingham usually did really well.

Arthur’s vision has always been to get as many people playing tennis as possible.  He has always encouraged junior players and, along with our resident coach, Chris Sanders, has helped to establish a coaching programme for every level. He introduced the ‘Open door’ policy of leaving the doors to the tennis courts unlocked thus allowing more people to access the courts. Many friendships have been made through the tennis club which is welcoming, friendly and inclusive with the membership fees still the cheapest in Norfolk. It has been voted Norfolk LTA Club of the Year in 2015, 2016 and 2018 and was described by the former Norfolk LTA President as ‘A little bit of tennis heaven.’ Much of the club’s success is due to Arthur’s drive, determination and hard work and his idea that tennis should be accessible to all; the club now boasts over 200 members!  Whilst he is stepping down as Chair, Arthur will continue to be an active member of the club and the committee will continue to draw on his considerable knowledge and experience.

We are delighted to share the news that Arthur will receive a ‘Lifetime Achievement’ Award at the Norfolk LTA Awards Ceremony in February. Congratulations and thank you Arthur.

It’s a hard act to follow but the club is lucky enough to have Clare Parker taking on the role as the new Chair.  Clare has many years of experience on the ‘tennis circuit’ as both her sons, Chris and Mike, played tennis at a high level, representing their county and university and mixing with the likes of Andy Murray!  Clare is a talented player herself, playing in the Women’s A Team, Mixed Team and in the Norwich Winter League. The committee is very grateful to Clare for coming forward to take over the role of Chair and she has already put in a considerable amount of work looking at the future of the club, including improved lighting.  Here’s to a bright 2020! Thanks Arthur!

In the picture right, Clare Parker presents Arthur with his ‘Lifetime Achievement Award’. 



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