Transforming British Tennis – LTA Grassoots Investment

Is it possible to think of a more aptly named initiative from the Lawn Tennis Association than, ‘Transforming British Tennis Together’? Nope, me neither.

LTA Invests In Grassroots Tennis Facilities

The LTA has announced it will be investing £250 million into grassroots tennis facilities across the country to help grow the sport. How? Well, this level of investment at a grassroots level will make the sport instantly more accessible, dependent on how the money is put to use.

More Tennis Courts, Greater Accessibility

The LTA is going to use the money to increase the number of courts which are both covered and floodlit by 50% – a huge increase. This in itself will make tennis an awful lot more accessible. How many times have you wanted to play tennis, yet the Great British summer doesn’t share your enthusiasm? This will no longer be a worry.

The money will also be invested into refurbishing tennis facilities up and down the country, meaning that courts are first and foremost playable, then nice enough to entice people into wanting to play on them.

This leads to the discussion of one way in which tennis has suffered compared to the accessibility of other sports – they’re much easier to play when you aren’t required to find a court.

However, the LTA has launched a website ‘www.gohitit.com’ which will act as your middleman. Not sure where your local court is? Need the contact number? Need to find out how to get there? It ticks all the boxes, which takes an awful lot of the ‘hassle’ out of it. Much like our club admin management system.

Investment Aims To Get More Children Into Tennis

Making it fundamentally easier to find a court and play tennis is a brilliant place to start – especially as the LTA is specifically aiming to double the number of children playing tennis, and double the number of times ‘infrequent’ adults play too. It’s a bold move, but the level of investment should aid the cause substantially.

The investment itself will be broken down as such: £125million coming straight from the LTA with the other half coming from those community networks who partner with the LTA to deliver on their initiatives, pledges, and aims.

You only have to look at one of the first trial areas, Sheffield, to see the success that Transforming British Tennis Together can bring to the sport. In Sheffield, they have seen a huge increase in participation of 53% since a £1.5 million investment was made across six specific tennis venues across the city.

A Community manager at one of these venues was keen to sing the praises of the initiative, saying, “The improved facilities mean I’ve seen more people playing and interested in taking lessons in our clubs, our parks, and at the university and college. I’ve particularly loved seeing more kids asking to play – and not just in the summer.”

If those results are possible in one city, imagine what this initiative could achieve when rolled out across the country. With any luck, the increase in participation will still be around the 50% mark which has been pinpointed by the LTA. If so, this will mark a massive success and could well lead to a budding future for the sport.

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