Game, set & trophy for tennis club in Assen

On a drizzly Monday morning, young tennis players receive lessons while the seniors enjoy their weekly sports moment on the tennis courts of ATV De Hertenkamp in Assen. Yet this is a different tennis club than all the others, ATV De Hertenkamp is the best tennis club in the country. “We are the association of the year of the KNLTB. That award is for 2023,” explains chairman Michel Berends.

The prize was awarded during the ABN Amro tennis tournament in Rotterdam. The group from Assen was already in the car at half past five in the morning, but it was not without reason that they left for Ahoy. “They already posted me at the front. I already thought: ‘this feels good’,” Berends laughs. “It’s emotional. We’ve all worked hard on this. When you get such recognition, it feels really good. It’s not all rational. No, that was a good emotion together.”

A large check, a bouquet of flowers and a trophy in the shape of a black tulip emphasize the importance of the win. A certificate repeats the jury’s thundering words. “The KNLTB jury sees the tennis and padel association from Assen as a source of inspiration for other associations and has great appreciation for what the Drenthe association has achieved.”

The members of the senior group are not surprised by the recognition. “We were told that we had a very serious chance,” explains Toon van het Reve. “We want to be at the forefront and have a lot of ambition.” His training buddy from the senior group Gerk Hogerhuis agrees with him. “It is a great club. I have only been a member for two and a half years, but I notice that it is a warm club.”

The jury also praises the social role, with special attention to asylum seekers and refugees and roller and G-tennis players. “I certainly think that is important,” said Hogerhuis. “The social event is also part of it. It is not just a club for people who play tennis, but for a broader part of the population.”