Judy Murray hails Vale of Glamorgan Council tennis facilities
29 June 2017
JUDY Murray has hailed the tennis facilities offered by the Vale of Glamorgan Council after a recent visit to Barry.
As Wimbledon approaches, the mother of World No.1 Andy Murray held sessions for local girls at Barry Leisure Centre and Romilly Park.
They were part of the ‘She Rallies’ campaign that Ms Murray fronts, a scheme that aims to get more girls involved in the sport.
The Scottish coach admitted key to participation is having tennis facilities available to the public.
And she praised those on offer in the Vale, with free-to-use public courts at Romilly Park, Gladstone Park, Alexandra Park and Millwood as well as other locations in Penarth, Rhoose and Llandough.
All leisure centres in the County can also be booked for short tennis.
“We’re here in Barry Leisure Centre and afterwards we’re going to the courts in Romilly Park, which are public,” said Ms Murray.
“That’s great because if kids see tennis on the television, as they’re going to over the next few weeks when Wimbledon is on, we have to capture that enthusiasm.
“Local facilities that are available to the public and affordable – hopefully free – are definitely the way to go because you lose kids’ interest quite quickly if you can’t provide that activity while the excitement is there.
“I’m a huge believer that if there are tennis courts in public parks they should be free to use. The swings are free to use and the ducks are free to feed so it should be the same with tennis courts.
“It is great that there are local parks in Barry that have courts because there are a lot of towns that don’t have that. They’ve had them in the past and lost them to other activities, housing, supermarkets or car parks.
“A tennis court is quite a big pace so it’s often hard to find those spaces again if they have disappeared. Local public facilities are the most important thing for growing the game.”
The She Rallies scheme is delivered in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association and is designed to increase female participation in a sport that is overwhelmingly populated by males.
“There are four times as many boys coming into our sport as girls and 80 per cent of our coaching workforce are men so only 20 per cent are women,” added Ms Murray.
“We have to do something to make our sport more accessible, more fun and more stimulating for girls because they’re finding other things to do that are more girly.”