Tennis News Wire -
With Andy Murray finally a Grand Slam champion as well as an Olympic gold medalist, Britain’s tennis chief is hoping the success of the Scot will jump charge tennis in his home nation and turn around a decline in the number of adults actually getting onto court.
Lawn Tennis Association chief executive Roger Draper has been fighting a tough battle recently. Government funding for tennis was cut by Sport England in April due to disappointing participation figures. In total £530,000 was shorn following 25% in the number of British adults playing the sport since 2008.
According to Draper, Murray's Olympic triumph seemed to provide an upturn sparked an increase in club membership and following the US Open victory and Britain having a male Grand Slam singles winner for the first time since Fred Perry in 1936, he hopes this will continue several times over.
“When Andy won the Olympics, 4,000 new members signed up in the space of a week,” reported a happy Draper. “The message we are getting is that there has been an upturn in people wanting to get involved.
“We had a drop-off in adult participation and then a bit of a bounce back and we know we still have a lot to do, particularly on the adult side of things. Certainly Andy's success keeps people talking about tennis and the big job now is to convert them from armchair followers into real tennis players.”
According to LTA information there are 23,000 courts However Sport England's Active People survey showed that the average number of adults playing tennis at least once a week declined from 487,500 in 2008 to 375,800 in 2011. The latest results for 2012 showed participation had recovered to 417,700.