Legend Les retires following outstanding service to Woodland Lawn Tennis Club

PUBLISHED: 17:30 28 February 2019

Les and Philip Treen

Les and Philip Treen

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It will be the end of an area at Woodland Lawn Tennis Club as Les Treen retires at this year's AGM.

Chairman for the past 16 years, Treen has been heavily involved in tennis at local, county and national level for a period spanning 60 years.

And with the sport having also given him a chance to travel and compete at home and abroad, Treen says it has always been a pleasure and privilege to have the opportunity to give something back in return.

Having won titles while studying at university and serving in the Army, as well as the Weston Open at the Winter Gardens, Treen played for Somerset for 20 years and beat Wales under-18 champion Gerald Battrick, a future British no.1.

As a veteran, he won the Somerset Open nine times, the Avon Closed six times and the Wales Over-60 title four years in a row, while also captaining the Avon age group teams and Wales national team in the annual Four Nations age group event.

In 1998, he was ranked number two in the UK after reaching the finals of his age group (65) at Wimbledon, Bournemouth and Eastbourne and played for GB in the veteran championships in Barcelona.

With eldest son Philip, a GB junior, he won the British Father & Son Futures title in 1987, going on to help GB win the inaugural international tournament in La Manga after beating the USA 2-1 in the final to lift the Kiam Cup.

They retained their British title in 1988 after beating David and Scott Lloyd in straight sets and were promoted to number one GB pair as they attempted to defend their title in Marbella.

A former selector for Somerset and Avon county teams and a member of the Avon LTA executive committee for 25 years, Treen has been chairman of various county and regional bodies and refereed the Somerset Junior Closed at Millfield and Taunton for 12 years.

He also managed the top Somerset junior teams and was secretary of Weston’s annual tournament for 13 years.

Appointed to teach French and Russian at Weston Boys’ Grammar School in 1957, he set up an after-school tennis club and within five years had the first state schoolboy to win the National under-16 singles at the Queen’s club in west London.

In 1979, now Broadoak, with a team of former Windwhistle boys, became the only state school ever to win the National under-15 team event, the Milbourne Cup, at Wimbledon after beating a powerful Eton team in the quarter-finals.

Having joined Woodland in 1964, Treen became the club’s first coach in 1983 and coached free of charge on Saturday mornings for 14 years.

Four boys won junior and senior county titles and, with four other boys and two girls representing Avon or Somerset at senior level at County Week.

Seven juniors qualified for the last 32 of National age group championships, with one reaching the under-14 quarter-finals and under-16 semi-finals and being invited to join the national junior squad and play with and against Rod Laver and others at the Royal Albert Hall.

In 1986, four Broadoak boys reached the last four of the National club championships and Woodland will now be seeking to revive former links with schools to provide opportunities for all players to work towards whatever level of play they wish to aspire, to continue Treen’s excellent work.

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