Tennis: Recognition award for long-serving Saffron Walden player

Charles Hassell

Charles Hassell - Credit: Archant

A LONG-SERVING member of the Grove Tennis Club has been recognised for his dedication.

Charles Hassell was given the award from the Essex Lawn Tennis Association for his services to tennis, both at national and club level.

The 82-year-old has been at the club for 50 years as a member, player, mentor and coach. He still coaches at The Grove and club spokesman John Evans hailed Hassell’s evaluation of players as “always spot on”.

“He deserves this recognition,” added Evans.

A regular player in the Essex and Hospital Cups (Essex), Hassell also played for Great Britain in the over 55s, 60s and 65s, touring the USA and Australia. He played for Cambridgeshire and Essex and won the over 70s nationals.

He has been instrumental in promoting and participating in Veterans Tennis in Essex and Cambridgeshire since the 1970s.

Hassell has been coaching since the 1970s, was responsible for starting team training sessions and still takes an active part.

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But in the nomination letter, put forward by the club, describes Hassell’s commitment as going “far beyond” coaching.

“For many years he was at the club in the early mornings - dragging the courts to remove leaves and sycamore seeds; clearing snow and doing everything possible to make sure that the courts are playable and the clubhouse presentable,” it reads.

“Charles’ dedication, determination, passion, and his help ensuring that so many people get the most out of tennis should be recognised by his club and county.”

Meanwhile, The Grove continues to go from strength to strength. The men’s and ladies teams are both in division 1 of the Cambs league, with teams 2 to 5 all healthily placed in the lower leagues.

There are great improvements in the pipeline happening to the club itself which include more state-of-the-art floodlights to courts 3 to 5 to match the new floodlights on courts 1 and 2. Plans are also in the pipeline to re-surface courts 1 to 4.