THE head coach of Dunfermline Tennis Club has narrowly missed out on winning a prestigious Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) prize.

Alan Russell was one of three nominees shortlisted by the sport's governing body to be named 'Coach of the Year' at its annual awards ceremony.

The prizegiving, which took place today at Wimbledon - during day two of the Championships - was launched in 2015 to acknowledge the thousands of volunteers, coaches and officials involved in the sport across the country, as well as the achievements of individuals, schools and clubs.

A total of 30 national finalists, across 10 categories, were chosen from 70 regional winners and Alan, who in April was named Coach of the Year by Tennis Scotland, was shortlisted alongside award winner Luke House, the London and South East Coach of the Year, from the Shooters Hill Lawn Tennis Club, and Sam Salt, the North Coach of the Year, from Graves Health and Sports Centre.

Noted by the LTA as being “often referred to as the benchmark for coaching in the area”, Alan was recognised for what they described as having “single-handedly introduced tennis programmes to seven high school clusters and more than 50 primary schools within Dunfermline and West Fife”.

In addition, he has worked in partnership with Active Schools Fife and Blairhall Primary School to increase participation levels from 14 to 60 per cent, and has helped more than 100 Queen Anne High School pupils to deliver tennis.

More than 1,500 nominations were received for this year's awards, and today's ceremony marked the culmination of a 10-month process that started with nominations being made for County awards across the country, and with regional winners then recognised at the LTA’s major events earlier this year. 

Scott Lloyd, CEO of the LTA said: “Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners of this year’s LTA Tennis Awards. 

"As the governing body for tennis, we can’t achieve our vision of opening up the sport without their support, so I would like to extend my thanks to each and every one of them for all that they do."