A ROBERT Gordon University initiative has joined forces with Judy Murray to launch an accessible tennis coaching scheme to a new generation of kids across Aberdeen.
Operating under the auspices of the Denis Law Legacy Trust, Street Tennis will form part of the award-winning Streetsport programme and will work with Judy Murray’s ‘Tennis on the Road’ initiative to offer coaching and activities to young people across the city.
Streetsport has a long established track record of offering free sports activities in many disadvantaged local communities and RGU SPORT and Tennis Scotland will assist by supplying all of the equipment necessary for the sessions.
The Street Tennis initiative is inspired by a number of games that Judy liked playing with Andy and Jamie while they were growing up and will be rolled out to four communities in Aberdeen this year: Torry, Northfield, Inchgarth and Sheddocksley.
StreetTennis sessions involve a range of simple games and activities designed to introduce participants to aspects of tennis such as agility, balance and coordination.
Judy Murray said: “I’m delighted to have the opportunity to work with Streetsport to help to grow tennis in the Aberdeen area.
“My Tennis on the Road programme aims to build workforces in local communities so that many more kids and adults can try tennis.
“Streetsport is a dynamic charity with loads of enthusiastic volunteers so it’s a perfect partner for me.”
A team of 12 volunteers will be trained by one of the UK’s best tennis coach mentors, Kris Soutar, prior to starting the sessions as part of Streetsport’s on-going diversionary activities for young people.
Mr Soutar, Lead Coach for Tennis on the Road, said that they are delighted to be working with in partnership with the Denis Law Legacy Trust and Streetsport.
He said: “We see this as an ideal partnership as we are looking to create opportunities to develop the coaching workforce which in return will provide further opportunities for children and young people in Aberdeen.”
Aberdeen’s inaugural Denis Law Community Tennis Festival this summer will see Judy Murray host a number of fun activities for anyone aged under 16 in the RGU SPORT games hall.
Mark Williams, Streetsport Development Officer, said that the opportunity to enter into a partnership with Judy Murray and Tennis on the Road will help them reach out to even more young people.
He said: “The Denis Law Community Tennis Festival will help raise the profile of tennis in Aberdeen and make it a more accessible sport and is a fantastic boost for the city.
“It will help more young people become active by removing any barriers to participation and hopefully spark an interest in tennis which they can then pursue further at one of the Aberdeen’s established tennis clubs.
“Tennis on the Road also has a fantastic record of providing coaching and sessions to young people around the country and with Judy Murray’s help we’re confident the initiative will prove to be a huge success.”
Campbell Scott, Sports Programme Manager at RGU SPORT, said that they are delighted to be working with Judy Murray and her coaching team.
He said: “This new initiative will provide free access to sport for many people in and around Aberdeen. It will also help increase sport participation rates across the city and we may just discover the next Andy Murray on the streets of Aberdeen.”
The Streetsport partnership network involves a number of other local agencies in its annual calendar of activities across the north-east and regularly collaborates with Aberdeen Community Safety Partnership, Absafe, Sport Aberdeen, Transition Extreme and Aberdeen Youth Games amongst others.
Denis Law was recognised in the New Year Honours list for his charity work as well as his sporting achievements. He was awarded a CBE by Buckingham Palace for his fundraising work with the Denis Law Legacy Trust, Streetsport, Meningitis Now and Cancer Research UK.