A LOVE of tennis reignited by a computer games console has helped a father-of-two to be crowned an ace at a national awards ceremony.

Bryan Leslie was named Volunteer of the Year at the Tennis Scotland Awards, while the East Lothian Open, which is due to be held in North Berwick in July, was crowned competition of the year.

The winners of the awards were announced last month. Mr Leslie, who played tennis growing up near Stansted Airport, was previously chairman of Gullane Tennis Club and is now the club’s welfare officer.

He was also one of three finalists in the lifetime achievement award category, with the prize going to Yvonne Birnie (Rothiemurchus and Aviemore Tennis Club).

He said: “It is fantastic and I have had some lovely feedback from people at the tennis club since it was announced.

“The nominations go into the final shortlist of three and when nominated I suppose there was a feeling if you do not win either there would be a degree of disappointment.

“Of the two, I felt it was much more likely if I won one it would be the volunteer award.

“I don’t feeling I have had a lifetime in tennis.”

The 51-year-old, who lives in Aberlady, told Courier Sport he had first developed a love of the sport while at school.

Along with his brother, Robert, he won tickets to Wimbledon in the early 1980s where he saw stars such as seventime French Open singles winner Chris Evert, nine-time Wimbledon singles champion Martina Navratilova and fourtime US Open singles winner John McEnroe.

He said: “I was quite interested in team sports but there was something about tennis where you are on your own.”

However, it was an injury as an adult which saw him once again fall in love with the sport.

He said: “I first started playing in 2013.

“I got a frozen shoulder and that was in my left shoulder and started having massage and all sorts of things to help that get better.

“It transferred to my right arm and I started playing the Nintendo Wii [games console] with my daughter Rhianna.

“The movements were identical to the movements that the therapist got me to do.

“I got back into tennis and I started looking for local tennis clubs and Gullane was the most local.”

From there, he became the club’s chairman in 2014 before stepping down from the role last year.

Now, the club’s welfare officer, he continues to run all communications and oversees memberships at the club.

Gill Zanre, president of the village’s tennis club, described Bryan as “a true inspiration” and added: “I was delighted to be in a position to nominate Bryan for both awards and on behalf of the club we congratulate Bryan.

“I know I speak on behalf of all our members to say that Bryan is truly deserving.

“He has steered the club forward for many years with such enthusiasm and is a fantastic leader.

“From his cardio-style sessions with his great music and different coloured shoes to now hosting virtual ones where members join him from their gardens or homes, Bryan is a true inspiration.”