Oh I say! Emma Raducanu’s triumph sparks £30m boost to UK’s tennis courts as ministers announce funding to help next generation of tennis stars
- Emma Raducanu’s US Open victory prompted Ministers to announce funding
- £22 million package will be used to repair park tennis courts across Britain
- Lawn Tennis Association also pledged a further £8.5 million towards the plans
- Government said it wanted to build on ‘unprecedented success’ for tennis
Emma Raducanu’s US Open victory last month has prompted Ministers to announce funding to help the next generation of tennis stars.
A £22 million package will be used to repair and improve access to park tennis courts nationwide.
The plan aims to ‘revive’ more than 4,500 council-owned courts across Britain by resurfacing and repainting them, as well as allowing more people to access them using a smartphone app.
The Lawn Tennis Association has also pledged a further £8.5 million towards the plans. Last month, Ms Raducanu, 18, became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam tournament since Virginia Wade in 1977.
INSPIRATIONAL: Emma Raducanu’s US Open victory last month (pictured) has prompted Ministers to announce £22 million funding package to repair park tennis courts across Britain
Nadine Dorries, the Culture Secretary, said: ‘The whole country watched in awe as Emma Raducanu succeeded in winning the US open.
‘I want more people to follow in Emma’s footsteps and find success on the court, whether that’s winning an international tournament or just picking up a racket to keep fit.’
The Government said it wanted to build on the ‘unprecedented success’ for British tennis of Ms Raducanu and fellow players Joe Salisbury, Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett, and Andy Murray.
The £22 million investment will apply to England, Wales and Scotland. Officials are in talks for similar plans in Northern Ireland.
More than over 1.7 million adults have played on park courts in England, Scotland and Wales in the past 12 months, officials said.
The Lawn Tennis Association has also pledged a further £8.5 million towards the plans. Pictured: Emma after scoring a point in the US Open women’s final match
Nearly half of park courts in the three nations are in need of investment because their condition is deemed ‘unplayable, very poor, or poor’, officials said.
Furthermore, 50 per cent of unplayable courts are in areas of highest deprivation.
LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd said its £8.5 million would ‘repair and refurbish dilapidated park courts across the country’, adding: ‘This will be transformational for public tennis facilities.
‘We are also committed to ensuring any investment is supported by sustainable community tennis programmes so courts see a real growth in usage.’
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