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Inverness tennis coach honoured to be shortlisted for lifetime achievement award

By Andrew Henderson

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Inverness Tennis and Squash Club volunteer Jane Bradley says it was an honour to be shortlisted for Tennis Scotland's lifetime achievement award.

Inverness Tennis and Squash Club volunteer Jane Bradley, pictured with Jamie Murray in 2019.
Inverness Tennis and Squash Club volunteer Jane Bradley, pictured with Jamie Murray in 2019.

Bradley has been a member of the Inverness club for the last decade, having previously been involved in the sport in Liverpool and Manchester before returning to the Highlands.

She was hoping to follow in the footsteps of Hamish McBain from Rothes, who took the gong home last year.

However, in the end, Rothiemurcus and Aviemore Tennis Club's Yvonne Birnie was named the winner this year, leaving Bradley still happy to be recognised.

"It's a great honour, a great privilege to have been nominated and shortlisted," she insisted.

"I was very proud indeed. I'm very lucky for that to have happened, but the person who won is a lot more deserving than me to have won the whole thing.

"Hamish won it last year, and I nominated him for the award so I was very pleased when he won it. We seem to have a history of winners coming from the Highlands after Hamish last year and Yvonne this year.

"It's good for tennis in the Highlands to get that recognition."

Bradley helps out with coaching sessions for children, refereeing, and organising competitions in Inverness.

But she was at pains to point out that her accomplishments are always team efforts, supported by other people at the club.

"I will organise things, but I get lots of help from other members on the committee," Bradley explained.

"It's a good club to join and to be a member of, because you can always get assistance and people will help out if you're organising something.

"I don't do things on my own, there's a great group of people there. Ailsa Polworth is the club manager, she's trying to keep things going during lockdown by putting things on Facebook and overseeing everything."

One of the organisational tasks Bradley has is the club's open competition, which were due to take place at the beginning of August.

Lockdown has raised doubts over whether it will go ahead, but Bradley is keeping her fingers crossed.

"Hopefully this lockdown will be over by then and we'll be able to run the competition," she added.

"We get players coming from all over Scotland, we did it last year and there was even somebody who had come from India.

"He was visiting relatives over here at the time, so we're hoping that it can go ahead this year."
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