A TENNIS coach from Rufforth has won a Lifetime Achievement award from the Yorkshire LTA.

Christine Place, 73, was nominated by Rufforth Tennis Club and was presented with the prize over a Zoom call, amid the current lockdown restrictions.

As a county winner, Place is now a regional nominee for the Northern Region award. If she is successful, Place will then go on the national shortlist, with the winner being announced at Wimbledon in July.

Place was part of the team to found Rufforth Tennis Club in 1993 - building a team of volunteers, securing grants and fundraising for the club.

Her efforts ensured the club managed to build two courts, with a third later following, all of which are flood-lit.

Rufforth now have 10 teams in the York and Wetherby tennis league along with a good junior programme.

Place took the position of club secretary but also undertook coaching, playing and court maintenance as well as secretarial duties. She recently stepped down from this role to become the club’s first president.

As a dedicated member of York Tennis Club, Place played Yorkshire League tennis for many years and her passion for game remains a constant as she currently represents Yorkshire’s Over 70s team.

She is also heavily involved in the long-running York Family Tennis Tournament as a committee member.

Away from Rufforth Tennis Club, Place has worked as a PE teacher at Queen Margaret’s School for 35 years, having started at Scarborough College over 50 years ago.

Place also officiated as a Line Judge for 18 years at Wimbledon.

A Rufforth Tennis Club statement read: “As a coach she is patient and knowledgeable and it is clear she enjoys developing junior players and is proud to see them become part of the teams at Rufforth.

“She helps the experienced players with tips and advice as her playing experience is so vast and a wonderful resource to tap into as a team.

“She has provided the insight to develop the membership over many years and strives to provide excellent facilities and competitive membership prices making sure tennis is accessible to all.”

Christine’s daughter Kathryn added: “I am so proud of her for this award.

“She works so hard and never sits down, always on the go and so passionate about getting people playing, encouraging all ages and still keeping me on my toes with my game.

“She got me into tennis when I was five years old. and it’s a game a still love and play competitively to this day.

“When I read through all the things she’s done, she really is an inspiration and also one of the fittest and healthiest 73-year-olds ever!”