A COLWYN BAY tennis coach who didn’t play the sport until her late 20s is making up for lost time after striking gold in the LTA Tennis Awards.

Amanda Twigg first picked up a racquet when aged 27 but it’s work on the sidelines that is paying off for the now-60-year-old, named as LTA Performance Coach of the Year for the North region.

That’s all thanks to her work at David Lloyd Cheadle, using her 30 years of coaching experience to help guide the next generation through the mini tennis programme.

Putting the foundations in place for young talent to reach the upper echelons of sport, Twigg’s alumni includes Fed Cup players as well as those battling it out for regional, national and international honours.

But it’s not just those who Twigg teaches that have felt the benefit of her time in tennis.

“Tennis has changed my entire life. It has given me a sport I am passionate about, an unexpected career, and I met my husband at the tennis club too,” she said.

“I have always worked with young players who have a chance to go on and do well, with the intention of putting foundations in place to allow them to achieve their potential.

“I like to think I give the same effort with all my players, and I have had the privilege to work with some fantastic young people.

“My nomination made note of my work with parents to help them along this road. Supporting the family is something that I’ve always tried to do.

“This award means a great deal to me. So often, mini tennis coaches are overlooked.

“This is a performance coach award, which is based on my coaching skill and results, in competition with all performance coaches.

“Qualifying through to be considered for the National award is amazing and I can’t thank the LTA enough for providing this opportunity.”

Successful regional winners will now progress through to the LTA’s National finals in each of their respective categories, with Twigg’s accomplishments to be judged alongside the best in the country.

LTA Chief Executive Scott Lloyd said: “These awards acknowledge the extraordinary contribution of the individuals and venues that help us open tennis up, bringing new fans and players to our sport.

“Now more than ever, it is important we celebrate their contributions and hope that tennis can rally together to get through this very challenging time.”

Launched in 2015, the LTA Tennis Awards serve to acknowledge the many thousands of individuals involved in tennis from the 25,000 volunteers, to the 4,400 coaches and 940 officials, as well as the 20,000 schools, 2,700 clubs and over 9,700 LTA approved tournaments across the country.

Now in their fifth year, a record number of 2,100 nominations were received nationally for this year’s awards.

For more information about the work the LTA is doing to grow tennis in Britain, log onto www.LTA.org.uk.