National recognition for ‘Sunny Hunny’ tournament at LTA Tennis Awards

Youngsters with their prizes at the Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament in 2019, which has won a natio

Youngsters with their prizes at the Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament in 2019, which has won a national award Picture: Chris Holt - Credit: Chris Holt/Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament

The blow of having to cancel this year’s Hunstanton Lawn Tennis Tournament and to postpone centenary year celebrations has been softened by the success of a national award.

One of 18 national winners, the ‘Sunny Hunny’ tournament has won the Competition of the Year accolade at the LTA Tennis Awards, held annually by the governing body for tennis in Britain. With more than 1,300 entries, the event - which was due to be held later this month - boasts some of the highest player rates in the country, while last year it raised £2,000 for East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices.

Plans to celebrate the tournament’s 100-year anniversary had to be put on hold due to the Covid-19 pandemic but there is plenty to savour after the ceremony was hosted online and the award presented by Sally Bolton, the chief executive of the All England Lawn Tennis Club.

Secretary of the tournament’s organising committee, Chris Holt, said: “The annual ‘Sunny Hunny’ tournament in the sleepy backwaters of Norfolk is probably one of the largest one-week tournaments in the country which has grown in popularity over the 45 years that I have been involved.

“This very family-orientated tournament owes its success to the very supportive and hard working committee, along with the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk, our sponsors, the ever-growing support of the catering and trade stalls and most of all the players, many of whom return year on year. They are all part of the Hunstanton ‘family’.

“It’s impossible to explain the feeling when you go out into the sunshine and see all 38 courts packed with youngsters playing and thoroughly enjoying tennis, with the ground packed with parents, grandparents and other supporters.

“This year has proved very difficult with the Covid-19 situation resulting in the unfortunate cancellation of ‘Sunny Hunny 2020’ in what would have been our 100th anniversary year, but this sadness has been counteracted by this huge award, an honour we will treasure for years to come.”

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