Murray mania and Davis Cup ties spark tennis boom in Scotland

Pupils of Antonine Primary School enjoyed a coaching session at Drumchapel Park tennis courts. Picture: Contributed
Pupils of Antonine Primary School enjoyed a coaching session at Drumchapel Park tennis courts. Picture: Contributed
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MURRAY mania is helping boost tennis in Glasgow. Helped by two Davis Cup ties staged at the Emirates Arena this year, new figures show a dramatic rise in the take up at the city’s public tennis courts.

Attendances at Glasgow’s 25 free-to-use public courts for the first six months of this year surpassed the total for the previous 12 months as the sport continues to enjoy a boom in popularity.

News of the increase comes as it was revealed that over the past three years, more than £5.4 million has been invested in tennis facilities across the country, representing more than 100 new or resurfaced courts.

Funding for the new courts has come from a variety of sources including the Lawn Tennis Association, Tennis Scotland, the Tennis Foundation, local authorities including Glasgow City Council and sportscotland. Around £1.5m has been spent on 18 new and improved courts in Glasgow.

Money has also been heavily invested in schools, with tennis training courses for teachers, free equipment packs and a drive to increase numbers taking place all over Scotland.

“Sixty-five per cent of all Scottish primary schools have participated,” said Mike Cohen, Tennis Scotland’s development manager. “We have issued 2,375 school packages.

“During the two Davis Cup matches we had over 2,000 school children come for the Come and Try Festivals.”

Cohen is delighted that, on the back of Andy and Jamie Murray’s success, more courts are springing up all over the country.

“But getting the courts is the easier part,” he said. “There has to be a plan to make them work.” Tennis Scotland’s head of development, Doc McKelvey, stresses the importance about developing good partnerships.

“Of the £5.4m total, £870,000 was provided by ourselves and the LTA,” he explained. “Sportscotland has provided £1.7m into completed projects and a further £500,000 has been committed to the next stage of projects through its Active Places and Sports Facilities funds, while the remainder came from local authorities, local trusts and clubs.

“Tennis Scotland is working with partners around future indoor tennis courts with discussions ongoing in several locations across the country.”