TOWNELEY Community Tennis Club has been given a Royal seal of approval following a recent trip to Wimbledon.

Representatives from the Burnley-based club met the Duchess of Gloucester after they were invited to attend the Lawn Tennis Association’s annual Wimbledeon Cocktail Party.

Towneley became the first ‘non city’ venue to become an official Tennis For Free site and the club has worked closely with the LTA and Burnley Borough Council since it was officially launched earlier this year.

It was a story that so inspired Nick Humby, the LTA’s chief operating officer so much, that he invited head coach Iain Taylor and members of the club to SW19 where they were given Centre Court tickets and an invitation to the the Cocktail Party.

The club has gone from strength to strength since opening in April and last month, a total of 151 players turned out for its first Tennis For Free programme.

It was the highest number of tennis players to attend an event organised by national sports charity Tennis For Free since it was launched 10 years ago.

Davis Cup captain Leon Smith was also impressed.

He said: “It is incredible how a newly formed club has managed to break the national record for Tennis For Free launch.”