Hamilton Lawn Tennis Club coach Ian Cannon admits he’s been touched by the news his hard work and dedication during lockdown has been recognised after reaching the final of the most coveted awards in Scottish tennis.

Ian, who is head coach at the town club, is up for Development Coach of the Year in the Tennis Scotland Awards 2021.

He has been commended for his ability to deliver a successful coaching programme as tennis has bounced back from lockdown and he’s been blown away by the nomination.

Ian told Lanarkshire Live Sport : “I’m absolutely delighted.

“To be shortlisted is just lovely, really nice.

Ian Cannon (right) and John Jellema at Hamilton Tennis Club

“With everything that’s been going on, tennis has been one of the few sports that has been allowed to keep going, albeit we were locked down for the first three months [of the pandemic].

“Even in the most recent lockdowns, we’ve been able to keep thing ticking over.

“For even just one person to think that the stuff I’ve been doing to keep people engaged in tennis in 2020 has been worth something was nice.”

Ian Cannon

Ian has represented the club across various junior age groups through to the men’s first team, prior to attaining the role of head coach, which he has held since 2013.

But his lockdown classes have made a real impact.

He added: “When we first locked down, I started doing lots of wee videos from home and Zoom sessions with groups of kids.

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“As the year progressed, we’ve managed to almost double the people on our coaching programme and the membership at the club has almost doubled as well.

“I guess they are a few of the things that have been recognised.”

Blane Dodds, Tennis Scotland chief executive, said: “The response of the tennis community played a pivotal role in enabling the safe resumption of tennis in 2020.

“This year, more than ever before, it feels important to acknowledge exceptional contributions which are being made within our sport.

Head coach Ian Cannon in front of the Hamilton Lawn Tennis Club clubhouse

“The Tennis Scotland Awards provide the perfect platform to celebrate the success stories of the year.

“With nominations of a particularly high standard, each shortlisted nominee should be very proud of their achievement.”

In total, 27 nominees have been announced across 10 separate categories, with the eventual winners subsequently securing a place at the LTA British Tennis Awards.

Winners of the Tennis Scotland Awards will be announced on Friday, April 23, with a ceremony to be held at a later date.

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