07/12/2018 | News release | Distributed by Public on 07/12/2018 12:20
In a special ceremony at The Queen's Club on Wimbledon's middle Sunday, the ITF and International Tennis Hall of Fame partnered to pay tribute to longtime tennis industry leader Stuart Smith, who has served the sport in an administrative role both in Britain and within the global tennis community.
'I am deeply honored by this recognition, and I'm grateful to receive the award here at The Queen's Club which has so many special memories for me,' said Smith. 'It's really been my privilege and a joy to have lived my life in tennis. I've met wonderful people and been gratified and inspired by the ongoing growth in our sport over time.'
The award was presented by International Tennis Hall of Fame CEO Todd Martin, ITF President David Haggerty, and Golden Achievement Award Committee Chairman Jane Brown Grimes. The Golden Achievement Award is presented annually to an individual who has made significant contributions internationally to tennis in the fields of administration, promotion, or education, and who has devoted long and outstanding service to the sport.
'The Golden Achievement Award is an important recognition of the people who work tirelessly to grow and improve our sport, and Stuart is incredibly deserving of such recognition,' said Haggerty. 'As a leader for the Lawn Tennis Association, Stuart had tremendous positive impact on the growth and development of the sport in the UK. His reach in tennis extends far beyond Britain's borders, as he has often given of his time in working with the ITF and Tennis Europe and has shown unwavering dedication to working hand-in-hand with tennis leaders around the world for the betterment of our sport.'
At the awards ceremony, Smith said: 'I am grateful to the many colleagues who I've had the opportunity to work with along the way, but most importantly, I must thank my parents who introduced me at a young age to the sport that I would go on to love dearly. They were active in club management and volunteering, and they really showed me how I could stay involved and make a difference in my local tennis community and beyond. Their personal dedication to the sport opened my eyes to the tennis world and ultimately opened so many doors for me.'
Smith recalled first being involved in tennis from the age of four, when his mother was a tennis club secretary and his police officer father the club captain. Smith was involved in the club tennis community from a young age, and then worked in county tennis programming, national tennis administration, and ultimately went on to secure leadership roles in the biggest global platforms in tennis.
Smith is a past president and chairman of the Board for Great Britain's Lawn Tennis Association (LTA). Within the LTA he served on many committees including LTA Events, National Development, National Tennis Centre Project, The Indoor Tennis Initiative, and Veterans' Tennis, among others. He remains highly involved today as a member of the LTA Council.
Smith is a past board member of the International Tennis Federation (2009-15). In addition to serving on the Board, he chaired several committees including Wheelchair Tennis and the Technical Commission, and was a member of the Olympic Committee, serving as tennis technical delegate at the London 2012 event.
At the All England Lawn Tennis Club he served on the Committee of Management of The Championships, several sub-committees and was a Director of The All England Ground Company. Also in Britain, he's served as Chairman of Queen's Club Limited, as a Director of The West Hants Club and has been on the council of the Kent County Lawn Tennis Association for many years.
'It's our pleasure to partner with the International Tennis Federation to recognise Stuart as one of tennis' most dedicated servants. His passion for our sport and his desire to continually enhance the sport has always been so clearly evident in his work, and he is highly deserving of the Golden Achievement Award,' said Todd Martin, CEO of the International Tennis Hall of Fame. 'The International Tennis Hall of Fame is committed to celebrating tennis history and progress, and Stuart's leadership in tennis has definitely left a lasting and positive impact on tennis in Britain and beyond.'
The Golden Achievement Award is selected from a pool of nominations submitted by tennis federations and individuals from the around the world. The annual honoree is selected by the Golden Achievement Award Committee, which is comprised of tennis administrators.