Iain Stokes was once the youngster that used to hit a tennis ball against his granny’s wall in Lossiemouth for practice.
His tennis exploits saw him win the north of Scotland’s men’s singles championship in 1984 in Elgin.
He also competed at a tournament held at the mecca of tennis, Wimbledon.
Elgin-born Mr Stokes went onto represent Dorset at county level.
Most recently, he ran a sports centre in Poole, Dorset for 23 years.
Homecoming for new Moray Sports Centre boss
Now the 56-year-old has returned to the north of Scotland to become Moray Sports Centre’s new CEO.
This comes after moving away to England as a youngster as his family served in the armed forces.
The centre operated by Moray Sports Foundation already runs a sports hall, gym, cycling studio and other fitness rooms.
The job opportunity piqued his interest after reading about their project to build a £1.2 million indoor tennis facility.
Last year, the charity received £816,000 from the Transforming Scottish Indoor Tennis fund to support the project.
The project will see the construction of a four-court facility near the centre.
Iain said: “I noticed in the local press about a new indoor tennis facility which piqued my interest.
“I wasn’t looking to move as I was happy in Dorset but it was a no brainer to apply.
“Fortunately, I got to the interview stage and fell in love with the place.
“It was meant to happen.
“I have come full circle, as I was the wee boy hitting a tennis ball against my granny’s wall in Lossiemouth and playing at the Marine courts.
“To have an amazing tennis facility to be built in Moray is really exciting and I love the prospect.
“It is like a dream come true and the plans are amazing.
“It will give great opportunities for everyone to play tennis.
“My first goal is to get the tennis centre up and running as soon as possible.”
Playing in a competition at Wimbledon was a ‘surreal experience’
He competed at the British national championships held at Wimbledon just before he turned 18 years old.
This came after years of watching the tennis greats grace the courts.
He said: “The experience of playing at the courts at Wimbledon was something else.
“It was surreal and the first time I threw up the ball to practice the serve, the centre court was in the background.”
Winning the north of Scotland’s men’s singles championship was still my biggest tennis achievement.
He added: “I was a reasonably good tennis player as a junior and also coached at clubs and schools.
“But still my biggest tennis achievement was winning the north of Scotland’s men’s singles championship, which takes place in Elgin where I was born.
“My role is now about finding out what sports facilities are needed in the area and try to see what we can do about that.”
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