Judy Murray says ‘educating parents’ key to tackling childhood obesity

Judy Murray is a 'huge believer' in getting active. Picture: TSPL
Judy Murray is a 'huge believer' in getting active. Picture: TSPL
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Judy Murray has said that educating parents on the benefits of exercise is crucial to tackling the rise in overweight children she has observed over the last decade.

The former captain of Great Britain’s Fed Cup team spoke days after she took to Twitter to brand a reported ban on running in a Cornwall primary school playground “utterly absurd”.

Ms Murray was asked about the comments after she delivered the girls-only starter tennis programme “Miss-Hits” at Edinburgh’s St George’s School for Girls as part of Women’s Sport Week.

She said: “We have to get more people, kids and adults, enjoying activity and the easiest way is to get kids used to doing it from a young age.

“It starts at home, in my opinion. We need to get parents understanding that being physically active is just as important as reading and writing, because if you enjoy it at a young age there’s far more chance of it staying with you throughout your life.

“I’m a huge believer in getting active because I do a lot of work in schools and for the last, I’d say, 10 years (I’ve seen a) significant increase in the number of children who are overweight and unco-ordinated, and it’s simply because the things that are trendy to play with now are indoors.

“They’re sitting down in front of a screen and the only thing that gets active is their thumbs.”

Ms Murray also revealed how she has to pinch herself to believe how far tennis has come in Scotland.

Last month saw sell-out crowds in Glasgow for Great Britain’s Davis Cup clash with Argentina and the Andy Murray Live event.

“As an out-and-out Scottish tennis person who grew up and competed in the days where you could hardly get a results line in the round-up section of the main papers - and certainly not any TV coverage - it really is hard to believe,” she said.

“You have to pinch yourself sometimes to believe that we’ve got world-class players, world-class coaches and world-class events in Scotland.”

Her younger son Andy Murray, currently taking part in the China Open in Beijing, is still in with a shout of overtaking Novak Djokovic and ending the year as world number one.

Pressed on his chances, Ms Murray said: “You’d need to ask him about that. He’s far more into counting up the points and knowing where everything lies than I am.

“I know he’s pretty close and I know it’s his goal, but I’m sure he’s got it all worked out, what he needs to do.

“Usually if he puts his mind to something he’s pretty good at getting there.”