Summer may be over but tennis fever isn’t dying down in Glasgow.
As Jamie Murray stormed into the US Open mixed doubles final and men’s doubles semi-finals on the same day, tennis supercoach Phil Leighton marked the countdown to the inaugural Murray Trophy in Glasgow by introducing 4500 school children across the region to tennis.
Marking the final leg of a UK-wide tour that has got over 20,000 kids across the nation with rackets in hands, Leighton was at Battlefield Primary School last Thursday to host a taster session of Tennis for Kids, the LTA’s marquee grassroots participation programme, alongside Tennis Scotland CEO Blane Dodds.
A further 600 local school children will take part in tennis taster sessions during the Murray Trophy, which gets underway on Monday, September 16, along with the opportunity to see tennis stars from around the world in action.
One keen new tennis player from Battlefield Primary School, said: “I loved playing tennis with Phil and my pals today. It’s a really cool sport and we had so much fun. He said we can play more tennis this weekend and if we keep playing tennis and practice really hard we could be like Andy and Jamie Murray one day!”
Children taking part in this week’s schools roadshow are also being given the chance to sign up for a number of free tennis activities taking place this weekend in clubs and venues across Glasgow as part of the LTA and Tennis Scotland’s Nature Valley Big Tennis Weekend initiative and Tennis for Kids – the country’s biggest grassroots tennis programme.
Coach Phil Leighton said: “We’ve had a fantastic week in Glasgow with about 4,500 kids getting involved with tennis and, with the Murray Trophy kicking off here in just under two weeks, there couldn’t have been a better way to conclude our UK roadshow. For these kids it’s all about making tennis a fun and enjoyable way of getting active and that’s exactly what these sessions and Tennis for Kids is all about. Hopefully the children who have taken part here today and across the week will want to play tennis again and discover a game for life. Who knows, one of them might even play in the Murray Trophy sometime in the future!”
Blane Dodds, CEO Tennis Scotland added: “It’s been great to have Phil getting so many kids across Scotland really enthused about tennis, and particularly here in Glasgow as our first-ever Murray Trophy gets closer. We can’t wait to welcome our young tennis fans to Scotstoun and hopefully the players they will see will inspire them to get involved. These really positive first experiences of the sport will ensure we can open tennis up to more people and get more and more people enjoying our sport.”
Tennis for Kids is taking place across Glasgow and Scotland throughout the rest of the year.
To find out more and sign up to a course near you, visit tennis For Kids
To find out more about Nature Valley Big Tennis Weekends near you, visit Clubs park
The Murray Trophy Glasgow – the ATP Challenger tournament curated by the LTA – will take place at Scotstoun Leisure Centre, Glasgow, from September 16 – 22. To find out more, visit www.lta.org.uk/murraytrophy