The gift of Andy Murray keeps on giving as Edinburgh targeted as area of growth
sportscotland’s announcement earlier this week that they will invest £5.8 million in tennis in Scotland over the next four years might be viewed as a knee jerk reaction to Andy Murray’s weekend success. But what will it mean for Edinburgh?
The Edinburgh Reporter spoke to former professional tennis umpire, John Frame, who believes that Edinburgh can reap the benefits of Andy Murray’s historic Wimbledon success in a very real way.
Speaking at the ITF AEGON Junior International Edinburgh, taking place at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre this week, Frame, like millions across the nation, was still rejoicing in Murray’s ascension to the throne at SW19 and couldn’t hide his excitement about its potential impact upon the sport.
Even before Sunday’s heroics, since bursting onto the scene of the professional game as an 18-year-old, Murray’s rise to the top has provided invaluable inspiration for tennis in Scotland.
Frame claimed:- “Murray’s influence has been vitally important over the last six or seven year. In terms of the number of kids playing, and the percentage of Scots doing well it has been very, very good.
“However, what has happened this weekend is potentially something completely different in the sense that we are talking about a completely different dimension – winning Wimbledon.
“The test for Tennis Scotland will be how to harness that enthusiasm and desire of kids all over the country to play tennis and then give them the facilities and the chance to play.
“Like any sport, the more you’ve got in your base, the more chance you’ve got of bringing stars through”
Membership of Tennis Scotland has increased by almost 50% in the last five years, but the organisation will be hoping for an even greater influx of new players in the coming four years following the heavy investment, and the strongest case yet of ‘Murray mania’.
Asked about the local Edinburgh contingent playing in the AEGON Junior International event where he is tournament director, Frame conceded:- “We don’t have many Edinburgh people at all playing in these tournaments, which is a bit of a worry.
“It is very interesting that most of the Scots who are playing are from Stirling and the Dunblane area, which I don’t think is a coincidence. Obviously Glasgow, which has probably got much better facilities and a lot more indoor courts than we have here is important in that.
“Edinburgh is an area where I think there is still a lot more growth to be done and I know it has been targeted by the LTA as a particular area for growth in the next two or three years, so hopefully we’ll get a few more tournaments and a few more kids playing.”
If you have been inspired by Andy Murray’s success to get involved in tennis, why not get down to a tennis court near you. The Edinburgh Leisure Meadows tennis facility in the city centre provides 16 all-weather courts for everything from children’s lessons and holiday camps, to club matches or casual play.
For opening hours and contact details visit the website.
Whilst you get in to your tennis whites, why not relive Andy Murray’s fantastic Wimbledon victory as you’ve never seen it before….