THE head coach of Dunfermline Tennis Club has been named as the country's coach of the year at a prestigious awards ceremony.

Alan Russell was honorued at the Tennis Scotland Awards 2018, which were held at Gleneagles on Tuesday.

The annual ceremony recognised the achievements, work and dedication of individuals, clubs, teams, tournaments and programmes throughout the country during the course of last year across 14 categories.

It is the second time that Alan, 64, has won the award - having won it in 2013 - and has been feted for his work managing the club's tennis programme.

His happiest moments of 2018 including the club's juniors winning five Team Tennis leagues, and their club programme reaching almost 3,200 participants.

Alan, who also referees the North Angus and Grantown tournaments, and aims to establish two new commutnity tennis programmes in West Fife this year, said: "The best thing about tennis is that it’s a sport for everyone, forever.

"I’d say to any young player in the sport to hold on to your love of tennis and be patient – nobody ever gives up tennis because it’s too easy. I’d like to thank Tennis Scotland for recognising me as Coach of the Year, it’s a real honour."

Tennis Scotland chief executive Blane Dodds added: "Our ambition is to not only harness the success of our players on the world stage, but deliver a legacy that inspires more people across Scotland to play at a local level, and we can only do so with the support of many dedicated coaches, clubs and volunteers like those recognised in our awards."

Over 70 finalists were shortlisted and 10 of the winners now being put forward to the LTA British Tennis Awards. The national finalists will be announced at the end of April.

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