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LTA offers 6,000 free coaching hours for children on the back of Davis Cup win

By Matthew Campelli    21 Dec 2015
Great Britain won the Davis Cup in November after a 79-year wait / Lawn Tennis Association/Getty

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) will offer 6,000 coaching hours and hand out 10,000 free tennis rackets to youngsters in a bid to mobilise them following Great Britain’s historic Davis Cup win.

Great Britain’s Davis Cup team, led by former Wimbledon champion Andy Murray, brought the title to the UK for the first time since 1936 last month. As a result, the governing body will try to harness the success and increase participation.

Boys and girls across the country will be eligible for the rackets, as well as 10,000 free introductory junior tennis courses which will be taught by the “expert and passionate” coaches.

The recruitment drive for 1,000 coaches will start in January 2016, with the opportunity for children to take up the offer in March, ahead of the first round of next year’s Davis Cup. More details will be revealed in the New Year.

LTA chief executive, Michael Downey, said the initiative was part of the organisation’s “four-year strategic plan to get more people into playing tennis more often”.

“We are fortunate in Great Britain to have first-class coaches, and the support of our amazing volunteers help us deliver on this ambitious aim in the community,” he added.

Leon Smith, the winning Davis Cup captain, said that the team wanted to “make a difference in capitalising on this unique opportunity to get as many kids on the court as possible”.

“We must invest in people to build a workforce in order to create a lasting legacy for the next generation,” added Judy Murray, Great Britain Fed Cup captain.

According to Sport England’s latest Active People Survey, tennis participation is on an upward curve. Between October 2014 and 2015, an additional 22,800 individuals played the sport at least once a week, making a total of 445,200.

In addition to the initiative, the LTA will create a national Davis Cup trophy tour, taking the prize to fifty different venues across the country. The aim is that every one of the LTA counties will receive a visit from the trophy.

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