A South Wales tennis coach has become the first in Wales to achieve the prestigious Master Club Coach Award.

Rob Cunningham, head coach of Vale Tennis Academy, gained the award from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). The Academy provides the coaching and competition programmes in clubs across the Vale of Glamorgan, including Penarth Lawn Tennis Club, Barry Athletic Tennis Club, Cowbridge Tennis Club and The Vale Hotel and Resort.

The Master Club Coach Award is a professional achievement which recognises a tennis coach having all of the necessary skills and experience to run a successful tennis business which not only provides excellent on-court coaching, but who is also successful at promoting the sport, getting more people playing tennis, and growing the game in a fun and enjoyable way.

Peter Drew, chief executive of Tennis Wales, said: “Rob has successfully demonstrated these attributes over a number of years with his excellent work in developing the Penarth Lawn Tennis Club, and more recently with his very successful expanded business with the Vale Tennis Academy.

“Tennis Wales has set an ambitious objective of transforming the tennis coaching workforce across Wales by 2020 by creating a network of highly skilled coaches with all the necessary professional skills to promote, market, and grow the sport, so we are delighted to see Rob come through as the first coach in Wales to achieve this level. Hopefully Rob’s achievement will inspire more of our coaches in Wales to also achieve this award.”

Information on all aspects of tennis in Wales is available from Tennis Wales at 029 20 463335 or www.lta.org.uk/in-your-area/Wales/ and for regular updates follow Tennis Wales on Twitter @tenniswales