Inspirational tennis coach recognised for a lifetime of dedication

April 25, 2023

Chris Davis is the driving force behind the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools Tennis programme.

A trailblazing and popular tennis coach has been recognised for his outstanding service and dedication, with one of the most prestigious awards in the sport.
Chris Davis, the driving force behind the successful Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools Tennis programme, has won Gloucestershire Tennis Lawn Tennis Association’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for 2023.
Chris, an LTA Senior Club coach, has been coaching for more than 50 years – the last 30 in the Forest of Dean and Monmouth area.
Chris, who lives in Monmouth and is also a keen golfer, will receive his special accolade from Gloucestershire Tennis at their annual Volunteer Awards at Hatherley Manor Hotel and Spa on Friday 12th May.
Remarkably, Chris did not pick up a racquet until he was 16 years old – but he hasn’t put one down since, spreading his love and passion for tennis to generations of people.
“The joy of helping someone who thought they would never learn to enjoy this beautiful game is immense,” said Chris, who started his successful tennis hub on the Five Acres site at Berry Hill that ran for 25 years before the area closed for redevelopment in 2018.
He has coached players of all ages, backgrounds and abilities and believes passionately that tennis should be available to all who want to play it.
Despite being an accomplished player, having represented both Gloucestershire and South Wales at County level, Chris gets the most satisfaction from supporting and coaching players who struggle with basic hand-eye co-ordination issues.
However, Chris believes his greatest legacy is developing and mentoring more than 25 full and part-time coaches from the local area who have gone on to enjoy their roles.
“I am very honoured and humbled to be recognised for this award,” said Chris. “I have tried throughout my coaching career to be as inclusive in my coaching as I possibly can.
“This has demanded a lot of patience and perseverance and I have encountered setbacks. However, the outcomes have probably given me more pleasure than anything else.
“My success is down to the hundreds of players, coaches, parents and my family who have supported me over the last 50 years. I must give a very special thank-you to my wife, Judy, and our children, Hannah and Adam.”
Aside from tennis, Chris is a volunteer fundraiser, who has completed three London Marathons. He has raised more than £15,000 for the charity, Children with Cancer UK. He completed a 15-hour golfing marathon at The Rolls of Monmouth in 2022, raising £4,000 for Prostate Cancer UK.
Rachael Wintle, who put forward Chris for the Lifetime Achievement Award, said: “Chris has been a trailblazer in opening up tennis to enable more people to play and enjoy it.
“I came from a non-tennis playing background and was introduced to the game by Chris, who later encouraged me to coach.
“I am now in my ninth year as Head Coach at Lydney Tennis Club and, without a doubt, I wouldn’t be where I am or doing what I am doing today, if it wasn’t for Chris’ belief in me.
She added: “I can’t think of anyone more deserving than Chris for this prestigious LTA Lifetime Achievement Award.
“Chris has changed and enhanced so many people’s lives through his own love and commitment to tennis and getting as many people involved as possible.”
Chris has no plans to put down his racquet yet – and says his passion to introduce and inspire new players into the game is burning as brightly as ever.