Sheffield teenager beats thousands to win prestigious Lawn Tennis Association award
A smashing Sheffield teenager has beaten thousands to win a prestigious Lawn Tennis Association award for his “inspirational” work in the sport.
Reuben Newman-Billington from Woodseats has been crowned Young Person of the Year by the governing body for tennis in Great Britain after inspiring players, parents and coaches at Graves Tennis Academy to get moving and stay connected throughout 2020.
The former Meadowhead School pupil, 19, who will begin studying history at the University of Nottingham in September, spent his gap year working 12 hour shifts and creating lockdown activities to keep more than 50 families entertained, from physical challenges and memory games through to quizzes and artwork.
"I feel fantastic, I was over the moon when I won the Yorkshire award,” said Reuben, who was also named Young Person of the Year at the 2021 Yorkshire Tennis Awards.
"To win the top award was fantastic, there were so many people nominated.”
The LTA Tennis Awards celebrate the achievements and contributions of tennis volunteers, coaches, officials, venues and players across the country who go above and beyond.
An LTA spokesperson said: “Nominations were drawn from over 25,000 volunteers, nearly 5,000 coaches and 1,000 officials, 22,000 schools, nearly 3,000 clubs and over 9,000 LTA approved tournaments, with Newman-Billington recognised for his inspirational work in the Yorkshire region.”
Reuben plans to continue coaching while studying at university.
"It’s something that I’m really passionate about,” he added.
"I feel like it’s extremely rewarding. If I do a session, I can tell people have enjoyed it – there’s a great sense of achievement.
"If someone comes off looking like they have had a great time it’s a great feeling.”
Sam Salt, head of tennis at Graves Health and Sports Centre, who nominated Reuben for the award, said: “I’m just massively pleased for him. He deserves it, the amount of hard work, effort and positivity he’s brought to the centre has been absolutely massive.
"It feels like the right outcome has been achieved, there’s a lot of fantastic people in the country but I know that you couldn’t try any harder than he’s tried.”