Fond farewell to H&W tennis ace
Clubs from across the county served up a special video farewell to H&W LTA chairman Richard Herriman who is standing down after 40 years sterling service to tennis in the county.
The retired solicitor, who first came to Worcester in 1971, officially stepped down at last night's AGM (November 25) which was held via Zoom.
Jan Thomas, who heads H&W’s MarComms Team and produced the video, paid tribute to the great service given by Richard.
“Richard has given an enormous amount of his time and energy to tennis in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, benefitting all our clubs, coaches and players,” said Jan.
The specially recorded surprise video was played for Richard who admitted he was overwhelmed with the generous comments.
"It is sad that given the current COVID-19 situation, we were not able to give Richard the recognition that we would have liked in person, and which he very much deserves,” added Jan.
“However, with old friends and tennis colleagues not being able to attend the AGM in person, we thought it would a nice gesture to film a short video with our thanks to Richard.”
Richard was originally a member at the now closed Bromwich Lane Tennis Club in St Johns but now plays at Boughton Park Tennis Club.
The stalwart volunteer has been a key figure in a variety of roles since first joining H&W’s executive committee in 1980 where his unsung roles have seen him organize the annual presentation evening, set up and run county mixed leagues for many years and enjoy a long stint as chairman since taking the reins in 2002.
Scores of H&W clubs saluted Richard with video messages while his wife Penny presented her husband with an engraved silver salver, champagne and garden vouchers on behalf of H&W LTA.
There was also a special message from LTA President David Rawlinson.
"Volunteers are the lifeblood of our sport and your service to Hereford and Worcester LTA for so many years has been beyond exception,” he said.
“There must have been so many people that have benefited from your volunteering and you should be immensely proud.
“The skill, the time and effort you have given for so many years is truly outstanding and on behalf of Lord Davies, chairmen of the LTA, and Scott Lloyd, our CEO, and myself and everybody at the LTA, thank you so much for a lifelong service to tennis. Best wishes for the future."
Richard also received a special surprise from Boughton Park Lawn Tennis Club where he was awarded Honorary Life Membership in recognition of his achievements.
“I didn’t imagine when I announced last year that I was stepping down that my final AGM would be by Zoom, “said Richard.
“The video was a wonderful surprise, and everyone was really generous in what they said.
“It is a privilege to volunteer, and you get out what you put in and I have had a great deal of enjoyment from my time with H&W LTA.
“When I first started, we had development officers and performance directors all employed by the LTA but in the last half a dozen years or so that has all changed. We have had to do it all ourselves within county which has increased the workload significantly and made it so important to get people involved and they have all rallied to play their part magnificently in promoting tennis in H&W.”
Richard, who hails from Caerphilly in South Wales, was destined to play tennis from a young age with a grass court in the family garden and regular family fours a staple of his childhood.
He still plays tennis at Boughton but never had any formal coaching.
“I remember once a member at Bromwich who I respected gave me some advice on where to stand on court and that was about it,” he said.
“Another once said my forehand resembled throwing a bucket of water which I take as a compliment.”