The Davis Cup, one of sport's most famous trophies, is heading to Shropshire early next month.
It's part of the Davis Cup by BNP Paribas Trophy Tour launched by the Lawn Tennis Association to take the silverware around Great Britain to allow as many people as possible to see it.
The iconic trophy, so memorably lifted by an Andy Murray-inspired Great Britain team in Belgium last November, will be appearing in both Shrewsbury and Telford on Saturday, May 7 - with locals having the chance to be pictured alongside the towering silverware.
Celebrating the tennis community
The LTA wanted to celebrate the momentous triumph - Britain's first for 79 years - by delivering the Davis Cup Trophy Tour across the country to thank the tennis community including players, coaches, venues and volunteers who supported the team on its incredible journey. It also wanted to inspire a new generation to pick up a racket and get involved in tennis.
The Davis Cup will arrive in Shropshire by paying a visit to Shrewsbury's Monkmoor Recreation Ground on May 7 between 10am and 1pm before later in the day heading to Telford Tennis Centre where the trophy will be on display from 3-5pm.
Bob Kerr, the chairman of Tennis Shropshire, said having the Davis Cup in the county was an occasion to really look forward to.
"It will be a real highlight to have the Davis Cup on display, so people can come along and have their picture taken with it," he said. "It's a coup to have the trophy coming along to the Monkmoor Recreation Ground and we're really looking forward to it as it opens it up to perhaps people who are not so familiar with tennis and just how important the Davis Cup is.”
Come and have a go for free
He went on to say: "The courts at Monkmoor have recently been refurbished as a joint initiative between Shrewsbury Town Council, ourselves at Tennis Shropshire and the LTA - the courts feel like new and they are wonderful.
"There's no cost for people to come along on the day, so they can visit Monkmoor, have a go at tennis - or watch if they prefer - and we'll have some organised activities on court between 10am and 1pm.
"The first of the affordable coaching courses that will be held regularly at Monkmoor starts on May 7, the day the Davis Cup visits, between 10-11am. The course will run for 10 weeks and is tailored to those new to tennis, and particularly suited to families, with children working in one group and adults in another.
"Anyone wanting details ahead of the day should contact Tennis Shropshire on 01743 (452470) or visit www.tennisshropshire.co.uk for details of other proposed activities available on the day."
Bob added: "The courts were finished towards the end of last year, but we thought we would wait to officially launch the revamped Monkmoor venue until the start of the new tennis season. There are three courts in very nice condition now, painted blue, and anyone can go along and use them."
Travelling to Telford
The Davis Cup will then travel across the county to Telford Tennis Centre where Bob also expects there to be plenty of interest in the trophy.
He added: "The Telford Tennis Centre is going through something of a relaunch. It has four indoor, four outdoor courts, a wonderful facility, and there is a new tennis provider, a new company involved with the local authority, Greenwich Leisure Limited, who are very proficient at delivering tennis in larger public settings.
"They will have their official launch on the same day as the Davis Cup visits, so it all dovetails quite nicely.
"As well as people having the chance to see the trophy, there are a number of activities planned including tennis xpress, cardio tennis, tennis demonstrations as well as other fun events."
Make the most of this opportunity
Leon Smith, the victorious Davis Cup Captain, hopes plenty of local people will make the most of having the opportunity to see the trophy in Shropshire.
He said: “Winning the Davis Cup was an incredible moment for me and all the team. Lifting the trophy on the court in Ghent was an amazing feeling and I’m eager to ensure a lasting legacy following this historic achievement.
"Taking the trophy across the country and being able to share this momentous achievement with the nation is an important part of this legacy.
"I can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction when they see the Davis Cup and sharing a bit of that passion we had on court will hopefully encourage others to get involved and choose tennis as part of their everyday lives."
Michael Downey, the chief executive of the LTA, added: "This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to inspire and captivate a nation and we want to use this Trophy Tour to bring more children and adults into our great sport and thank the tennis community for believing we could do it.”
Pictured: The Davis Cup - which is heading to Shropshire early next month - takes pride of place as the Great Britain team celebrate their famous victory in Belgium last November.
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