A teenage tennis coach who completed more than 160 hours of volunteering has received his Young Person of the Year award.
In July last year, Jonah Jones, 17, won the Young Person of the Year accolade at the LTA Tennis Awards, which were held virtually due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There were more than 2,000 nominations from across the UK for the awards ceremony, which saw the likes of current British No.1s Dan Evans and Johanna Konta pick up prestigious honours.
Now, nearly a year on from winning, Jonah has finally got his hands on the award.
David Rawlinson, President of the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), visited Caerphilly Tennis Club on Friday, June 4 to present Jonah with his award – with his family and club volunteers in attendance.
Tennis Wales CEO Simon Johnson and Caerphilly County Borough Council’s Sports and Leisure Development Manager, Jared Lougher was Jared Lougher, were also in attendance, as was LTA’s Volunteering Manager Alex Beaumont.
Mr Beaumont described Jonah’s achievements as “truly incredible”.
In 2019, Jonah, from Caerphilly, set up his school’s first after-school tennis club.
He also won Young Person of the Year at the 2019 Tennis Wales Awards. There, Caerphilly Tennis Club won the Club of the Year award, while coach Jonathan Morgan won Coach of the Year.
Jonah said: “Receiving my award after 11 months of delays was amazing, and left me with so much pride and delight. Having people from Caerphilly Tennis Club, the LTA, Tennis Wales and Sport Caerphilly present at the event was an honour.
“I will continue helping out with the club’s Junior Programme whilst also supporting the new group of leaders that are coming though. I hope to complete my Level 1 qualification with Tennis Wales, as well as the Coaches of the Future scheme with Sport Caerphilly.”
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, coach Morgan reflected on how he had taught Jonah from the age of six and had seen him progress through the club’s junior programme before training him as a leader.
He thanked Jonah “for the role he has played in assisting with the ever-growing Junior programme”, before praising his growth “not only in his Leader role but as a more rounded and confident young adult”.
Tennis Wales CEO Mr Johnson congratulated Jonah and called him “a fantastic example of young people progressing from players at a young age, to volunteers and even further down the career path.”
He also praised the club’s management committee and coaching team for supporting Jonah and said: “It’s great fun working with the team here at Caerphilly who are doing great work on and off the court.”
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