'˜Huge badminton fan' Judy Murray boosts world championships

Scotland's most famous tennis mum, Judy Murray, declared herself a massive fan of badminton yesterday as she was unveiled as the latest ambassador for this year's World Championships in Glasgow.

Judy Murray dropped in on pupils from Aberfoyle, Bridge of Allan, Callander, Kincardine, Newton and Tillicoutry Primary Schools. Picture: Lorraine Hill

Murray, the mother of tennis World No 1 Andy and his Davis Cup doubles ace brother Jamie, was in Stirling for Badminton Scotland’s latest Big Hit Festival for primary school children.

She said: “I’m a huge badminton fan. When I was young, I played tennis in the summer and badminton in the winter and got to junior international level.

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“I don’t play anymore but I love to watch it so I’m thrilled the World Championships is coming to Glasgow and that I have the chance to help promote the event and the sport.”

Murray was joined yesterday by 85 pupils from Aberfoyle, Bridge of Allan, Callander, Kincardine, Newton and Tillicoutry primary schools.

And the children also enjoyed a visit from Commonwealth Games and European silver medallist Kirsty Gilmour, who gave them some pointers.

The Big Hit festivals are part of the World Championships Legacy Programme aimed at introducing 30,000 youngsters to badminton.

The schoolchildren were put through their paces by Young Sports Leaders from Dunfermline High School as well as primary and secondary teachers attending a Continued Professional Development (CPD) session.

Murray joins Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon, Scotland 
rugby star Finn Russell and golfer Catriona Matthew as standard bearers for the World Championships and Billy 
Garrett, Glasgow Life’s Head of Sport, said: “We’re all very happy to welcome Judy to the Glasgow 2017 family.

“A huge part of our legacy campaign is introducing young people to badminton and ensuring they are given the appropriate support to continue playing if they wish to. That’s why it’s so great to have people like Judy on board to help us promote not only the World Badminton Championships in Glasgow, but also the sport itself.”

The Badminton World Championships 2017 will be staged at Glasgow’s Emirates Arena from 21-27 August.

Anne Smillie, Chief Executive of Badminton Scotland said: “I am delighted to have Judy involved with our World Championships legacy programme. She and Finn were both at the Big Hit Festival on finals day at the Scottish Open Grand Prix and saw first-hand how excited and eager the youngsters were.

“Everyone knows how enthusiastic and passionate Judy is about encouraging children to develop their sporting skills. “I’m sure Judy will play a very significant role in drawing attention to the event and especially to the development legacy.”s