After our very own Head Coach Jonathan Morgan won the Community Coach of the Year award at the annual Sport Caerphilly Awards evening held at Bryn Meadows this past Tuesday (26th January 2016), we thought we would ask him a few questions. And who better to quiz him than his younger brother and fellow CTC coach Andrew Morgan.
Andrew (AM): “First off congratulations on your award and being the first CTC coach to receive an award for outstanding work in the community and for the sport. Having worked with you on a lot of the work over the past few years it is fully deserved. Seeing as there were no speeches on the night and you love a speech, what would yours have been?”
Jonathan (JM): “Love a speech, haha! Ummm… Maybe something along the lines of: ‘Wow. Thank you. This is my first time attending such an evening let alone picking up an award! 2015 was the best year for me as a coach and also a significant one for Caerphilly Tennis Club and I am honoured to have such work recognised by my colleagues and peers. I must thank all of the CTC committee, volunteers, coaches and leaders, players and parents plus Sport Caerphilly and Tennis Wales. Also, congrats to the other nominees within this category, all of whom could’ve easily been instead of me. Again, thank you.'”
AM: “Everyone at the Club knows 2015 was a huge year for all involved and you said it was the best year for you as a coach, could you just recap why?”
JM: “Ok. There’s a lot but I’ll try and break it down. January and February saw me complete and pass my level 3 coaching qualification. March was of course the CTC25 Tennisthon where I played tennis for 25 continuous hours to close out the Club’s 25th anniversary season and raise nearly £700 for Velindre. I was officially named Head Coach in April and May saw new sessions added to the coaching schedule as I tried to address some gaps in our programme. Our schools tennis work was in full flow during June, continuing into July where we also launched our Ystrad Tennis outreach programme in the park. August was non-stop tennis during the summer holidays, topped with our annual Summer Finale which was one of the best. September I qualified as a Cardio Tennis instructor [which will be launching at CTC in the coming weeks!]. We held our first Club Forum in October which was another new idea we tested to a positive reaction and we started the club development work behind the scenes. November saw us host a family quiz night which was very successful and then of course we closed out the year with Christmas celebrations for our whole Junior section.”
AM: “Certainly a lot happened in the last year, but what was your highlight?”
JM: “Good question for a first time interviewer. Can I just say the whole year?”
AM: “Thanks. And no.”
JM: “Tough interviewer! I suppose passing my level 3 qualification and then being named Head Coach at the Club where I have grown up playing at was definitely huge. But then CTC25 Tennisthon was just crazy [the idea, actually doing it and raising so much money for charity] but the support I received, especially during that final hour on the Sunday before the celebrations, was special. And I’m very proud of the schools programme I did last summer [getting over 1,700 individuals playing tennis in just over 10 weeks and putting foundations of lasting tennis activity into many local schools]. That would be my top 3 for 2015, is that allowed?”
AM: “Ok, I’ll let you have a top 3 then. You had to take your hat off for the first time ever and don a suit for only the second. Are you afraid of the responses from Junior players to seeing you without a hat? As we all know they firmly believe it is glued to your head!”
JM: “Yeah. That was the only downside to the whole evening and winning the award [laughs]. My cover story for my hat is well and truly blown now unless I use another story like the official photos are photo shopped [to take my hat out] or something! I did hear ‘Jon, I didn’t recognise you in a suit / without a hat’ seven times during the evening!”
AM: “Where will you keep the award now? We could do with some new silverware in our Club trophy cabinet!”
JM: “I’m sure I’ll find somewhere at home. If not then it’ll be somewhere in the Club, probably the trophy cabinet or maybe in my new look office once the work to the clubhouse has been complete!”
AM: “You could add another as you’ve also been nominated for Coach of the Year at the Tennis Wales Awards [to be held at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama on 20th February 2016]. Can you do the double – local authority and national governing body?”
JM: “Haha. It’s possible, I suppose… But as with the Sport Caerphilly awards, all of the other nominees are deserving so we will have to wait and see.”
AM: “Will you be wearing your hat to this awards evening, even though it’s another formal event?”
JM: “You know I would if I could! Maybe I’ll take it in my pocket and if I win put it on as I go to collect the award.”
AM: “So what’s next for you and CTC in 2016 and looking even further into the future?”
JM: “Well, I want to keep developing as a coach, build on the work I [and CTC] have already done, and continue to get more people into tennis through the various avenues. For the Club in general, we have the new season right around the corner which is always an exciting time but even more so as our development plan [for courts and clubhouse] picks up momentum and begins to be put into motion in the coming months.”
AM: “Yes, the 2016-17 season could be even better than this year as things are shaping up! Thanks for answering these questions. And we may find ourselves doing this again if you win Coach of the Year at the Tennis Wales Awards too!
A summary of the evening and all award winners can be found on Sport Caerphilly’s Facebook page.