Tennis fever continues across Glasgow this weekend following last week’s successful Murray Trophy with clubs and venues across the city and the country opening their doors to give people the chance to give the sport a try for free.
The LTA’s Nature Valley Big Tennis Weekend will see a host of free tennis activities ranging from junior tennis, cardio tennis and family time sessions on offer as part of the governing body’s nationwide drive to get more people on court.
The weekend follows a number of activities supported by Jamie Murray as part of the Murray Trophy aimed at inspiring more children to get involved in the sport.
He led a PE lesson for pupils from Whiteinch Primary School with Leon Smith and Glasgow rising star Aidan McHugh on the first day of the tournament and released a short film with the LTA which took him back to Dunblane to tell the story of his journey growing up playing tennis with brother Andy at Dunblane Sports Club to becoming world doubles No 1.
Over 600 school children from nine local schools also got the chance to see Murray and some of Britain’s top tennis stars in action for free and take part in mini tennis sessions at the Scotstoun Leisure Centre run by the LTA and Tennis Scotland. The children then got to watch the action up close courtside where Murray reached the final of the in the doubles competition with Australian John Patrick-Smith.
In total around 5,000 children across the region took part in tennis sessions in the lead up to and during the Murray Trophy event with all of them given the chance to sign up for Tennis for Kids – the country’s biggest grassroots tennis programme and aimed at 7-11 year-olds.
Great Britain Davis Cup Captain, Leon Smith, enthused: “I know kids learn a lot of the time by watching and copying so to be able to watch international tennis and see one of their idols in Jamie Murray play is fantastic. Hopefully that will spark something in those children who can think it is possible to be brought up in Scotland and reach the world stage.”
Murray, who earlier this month became the first man for nearly 60 years to win three consecutive US Open Mixed Doubles titles, spoke earlier in the week on the impact of the regional tournament for making the sport accessible for children:
“For those kids to be able to come and watch a live event is really cool. You get up really close and personal with the players and see what it is like to be a professional tournament. Hopefully they enjoyed it and it will inspire them to pick up a racket again in the future.”
To find out more and sign up for a free activity as part of the LTA’s Nature Valley Big Tennis Weekend visit clubspark.lta.org.uk/Events.
To sign up to Tennis for Kids course near you, visit clubspark.lta.org.uk/tennisforkids