Pangbourne Lawn Tennis Club have been crowned LTA Club of the Year after investment and outreach saw their membership grow by 400 per cent.

The annual LTA Tennis Awards, presented by Lexus, highlight and celebrate the incredible achievements and contributions of people in tennis across Britain.

Held at the National Tennis Centre in Roehampton, Pangbourne representatives Kim DeMarchi, 57, and Rich Raynes, 46, couldn’t hold back the emotion as their tireless work was recognised.

“I'm just so overwhelmed with gratitude and with everything that the club, all the volunteers and the committee has put forth over the last couple years,” DeMarchi said.

“We set off not even having this as a goal, I didn't even know this existed at the time. It's just really amazing, and I’m so excited and happy and proud.

Raynes added: “We've got an incredible group of people who passionately believe in tennis for all, and over the last several years, it's just been everyone pulling together to get to the point where we can hopefully make literally anyone believe that they can have fun playing tennis.”

First launched in 2015 with the help of former LTA president Cathie Sabin OBE, the LTA Awards recognise the vital work of volunteers, coaches, officials, and players dedicating their precious time and energy to the continual development and growth of the sport.

Over the past nine years, the awards have illustrated the depth of service and talent within the tennis community and serve as an inspiration to others to get involved in the game.

Having watched their membership grow sixfold in the last four years, rising from 50 to 300 in that time, DeMarchi has attributed their success to the inclusivity of the club.

“When you get a group of people that are willing to pull out all the stops, then there’s a real buy-in from the community about getting involved,” she added.

“You've got to make people believe that it's accessible, that they are welcome, and I think that's probably the thing that we've done.

“Generally speaking, the people that are coming to our club just keep saying, ‘wow, your club is so inclusive, your club is so nice, your club is so welcoming’.

“I just joined during COVID and I had not played tennis before, and I felt that way. They were so inclusive and welcoming.

“We have a mission and a goal - we're opening up to disability tennis and all sorts of other things for other ages and abilities. That's our vision and it's great to see it come to fruition.”

LTA President Sandi Procter said: “The ceremony has been a tremendous celebration of the people that make our sport so special.

“The incredible stories behind the finalists are so heart-warming to hear. The hard work and dedication of all the winners and runners-up too is unbelievable, and I am always so impressed by the selfless sacrifice of all the volunteers, officials, and coaches.

“I have always been passionate about the grassroots and the awards are our way of highlighting the extraordinary contribution of the individuals and venues that help us open tennis up bringing new players and fans to the game.’’

The annual LTA Tennis Awards, presented by Lexus.