2024 winner of the Lancashire LTA Connecting Communities Award

Burnley Tennis Club, the 2024 winner of the Lancashire LTA Connecting Communities Award, has exemplified the core values and criteria of the award in remarkable ways. As an outstanding entity in the realm of tennis, they have not only provided diverse tennis opportunities within various community settings but have also pioneered innovative methods to engage community members in tennis, especially focusing on those who have historically been underrepresented or underserved in the sport.

Their efforts have significantly driven deeper and broader engagement within the community, showcasing a profound and positive social impact. Burnley Tennis Club has created an exceptional playing environment that prioritizes safety, welcoming atmospheres, accessibility, and inclusivity, ensuring that tennis is not just a sport but a fun, engaging, and uniting community activity. Through their dedicated work, they have truly embodied the spirit of the Connecting Communities Award.

Burnley Tennis Club have set a benchmark for community engagement and support beyond the boundaries of tennis. Their Community Outreach offer is a testament to their dedication to serving the community in diverse ways.

Serving as a hub for the local community, including the elderly and those with mental and physical disabilities. This space is not just for relaxation but also acts as an educational and therapeutic centre, where various workshops and programs are conducted, offering immense value to the neighbourhood​.

Burnley Tennis Club has taken significant steps in supporting employability within the community. They have initiated projects that provide access to specialist support from key workers, helping members and non-members alike with career-related advice, such as CV writing and interview techniques​.

The club's overarching philosophy is to make a positive impact beyond tennis by creating a welcoming and inclusive environment. They've been successful in breaking down stereotypes associated with tennis by making it accessible and affordable to all, including those from high deprivation areas. Their efforts include offering employability advice, engaging the elderly in gardening projects, running children's programs that combine tennis with other educational activities, and collaborating with local charities to offer therapeutic support. These initiatives have not only diversified the club's outreach but have also fostered a strong sense of community and belonging among participants.

Burnley Tennis Club's approach to community engagement exemplifies how sports clubs can play a pivotal role in enhancing social cohesion and providing valuable resources and support to their local communities.