TENNIS: Evans honoured as Oxon embark on a new dawn

Mary Evans shows off her silver salver for long-service to county tennis. She is flanked by, from left, Lawn Tennis Association president Cathie Sabin and Oxfordshire committee members Nicky Maskens (chairman), Melanie Tonks (coach represen

Mary Evans shows off her silver salver for long-service to county tennis. She is flanked by, from left, Lawn Tennis Association president Cathie Sabin and Oxfordshire committee members Nicky Maskens (chairman), Melanie Tonks (coach represen

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Sports Editor. Call me on 01865 425451

It's the start of a new era in Oxfordshire tennis.

After almost 40 years serving the county, Mary Evans was rewarded for her work by the president of the Lawn Tennis Association at a special presentation on Tuesday evening.

And as Cathie Sabin handed over a silver salver and bouquet of flowers, some of the new-look committee looked on.

Evans was joined by family and many former members of the board who had overseen big changes in Oxfordshire tennis over the years.

But it is now a very different group that have taken over the baton.

Chaired by Nicky Maskens, the board now has four members under 30, with the lowest average age of any county committee in the country.

They are confident their ‘youthful’ approach will help relate to the mantra of the LTA, who are bidding to get more people involved in the sport.

Evans, a stalwart of Oxford Sports LTC, was asked to join the Oxfordshire committee in the late 70s and has served on it ever since.

“I’m not going to say exactly when I started because that will give it all away,” she joked.

“But there have obviously been some pretty big changes in Oxfordshire tennis during my time on the committee.

“It is lovely to see so many of those people again who were involved, with myself, in overseeing some of those changes.”

Sabin paid tribute to the work of Evans, and was confident of a positive new era.

“Myself and Mary go back a long way,” said the LTA president, who has just started a three-year tenure.

“She has given extraordinary service to tennis both in Oxfordshire and at a national level.

“Mary fully deserves this special day to thank her for her tremendous efforts.”

Maskens believes the future is bright for the county.

“Myself and all the members of the management committee are looking to raise the profile of the association and let our members know we are keen to play a more significant role in Oxfordshire tennis,” she said.

“We have a great team of people on the committee ranging from coaches to teachers, referees, IT and marketing skills and I am delighted to say four of them are under 30.

“We can boast we have the lowest average age of any county tennis association – and that’s even including myself!”.

She added: “With the significant changes at the LTA, who are looking to ‘get more people playing, more often’, we as an association need to ensure we can support these initiatives by playing a key role in working with all of our places to play in the county and representing their needs and opinions.”

Latest Sport news

FOOTBALL: Justin Merritt's relishing step into unknown

Oxford Mail:

9:20am Tuesday 26th May 2015

Oxford City general manager Justin Merritt feels that his side’s change of divisions next season is a mixed blessing, but is relishing the new challenge.

Oxford United installed as third favourites for League Two title

Oxford Mail:

9:10am Tuesday 26th May 2015

Oxford United have been named as one of the favourites for the Sky Bet League Two title next season.

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL: Oxford United are beaten by 92nd-minute penalty

Oxford Mail:

9:00am Tuesday 26th May 2015

AN injury-time penalty from Everton’s Paige Williams inflicted an agonising 3-2 defeat on Oxford United in the FA Women’s Super League 2, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

CRICKET: Hugo Darby cracks super ton to spark Banbury victory

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 26th May 2015

Hugo Darby smashed a brilliant century as Banbury beat High Wycombe by six runs in the ECB Twenty20 Home Counties quarter-finals yesterday.

RACING: Limato off to Haydock

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 26th May 2015

Exciting sprinter Limato is set to put his unbeaten record on the line in the 888Sport Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock on Saturday.

GOLF: King smashes course record on way to Frilford crown

Oxford Mail:

8:00am Tuesday 26th May 2015

GARY King was the class act as he smashed the Frilford Heath course record en route to winning the Buildbase Open by two shots.

DARTS: West back for Oxfordshire's finale

Oxford Mail:

7:40am Tuesday 26th May 2015

OXFORDSHIRE visit Dorset this weekend in their final match of the British Inter Counties Championship knowing they need a big victory to stand any chance of winning the Division 1 title.

GOLF: Ex-Tadmarton Heath member named as new R&A captain

Oxford Mail: golf generic

7:40am Tuesday 26th May 2015

FORMER Tadmarton Heath member Gavin Caldwell will take over as captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club later this year.

WOMEN'S FOOTBALL: Taylor deflated after late winner sinks Oxford United

Oxford Mail:

7:30am Tuesday 26th May 2015

LES Taylor was left feeling hard done by after seeing his Oxford United Women’s side sickeningly beaten 3-2 at home to Everton thanks to a 92nd-minute penalty, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.

DARTS: Thompson's superb finish in vain

Oxford Mail:

7:00am Tuesday 26th May 2015

CHRIS Thompson hit the highest finish of the Greene King ODDA Summer League’s opening week, but still finished on the losing side.

Send us your news, pictures and videos

Most read stories

Local Info

Enter your postcode, town or place name

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree