The time is now. Not next week, or in 45 day’s time or even a few months down the line. It is now! British Tennis has achieved so much at the hands of Andy Murray and the Davis Cup team and now this needs to be capitalised on.
British Tennis has had it’s greatest period over the last few years from the racket of Andy Murray and the Davis Cup team as well as the leadership of captain Leon Smith and winning major tournaments, Davis Cups and awards for the achievements of the players and the team means there is no better time to capitalize on this.
Time and time again we talk about participation figures, facilities, prices, equipment and so much more but with us recently hosting the Olympics, Andy winning Gold + Silver medals, Grand Slams and Davis Cup it’s amazing we are still talking about trying to get people involved in the sport!
British Tennis has come under a lot of criticism over the years and especially since Great Britain won the Davis Cup recently and there have been changes to help drive participation in tennis at a junior age:
- 10,000 free introductory junior tennis courses
- 10,000 free tennis rackets at local venus
- Lessons to be delivered by 1000 expect and passionate coaches
- Recruitment begins in January
- Davis Cup Trophy tour
My only issue with the bullet points I’ve picked from the piece on the LTA website? Recruitment begins in January! Get recruitment going now when it’s fresh in everyone’s mind not a month or so after the Davis Cup win!
Getting people into sport isn’t tough but maintaining it is and it’s not just the LTA’s responsibility. Facilities have to be available and affordable. At my local tennis club I’d have to pay £12-£20 just to use a court for an hour which is a bit steep!
Also I remember at senior school we played simply every sport going which is good to get to learn something new but from August to July ever year over an 11 month period only 2 weeks of that would be on tennis.
We host the biggest tennis tournament in history so to have poor participation figures is not good at all. Some people have seen tennis in the past as an upper class sport but why not at Wimbledon should we follow what they do in New York at the US Open and have a kids day and invite players from clubs to have a hit on the best court in the world with some top players and have some fun?
Competitiveness in sport is great but you have to have fun and as a kid you’re not going to stick at something if it isn’t fun!
I do worry about the future of British Tennis. I don’t think we realise how lucky we are with the team and players we have and I hope in 10 years time we will be talking about the next Andy Murray!