Out of leafy SW19, to poor­est parts of Scot­land, Judy’s ten­nis cru­sade

The Scottish Mail on Sunday - - Comment - By Joan McFad­den

HER own two sons have risen to the top of the in­ter­na­tional game.

Now Judy Mur­ray is launch­ing a foun­da­tion to take ten­nis to chil­dren in de­prived ar­eas of Scot­land.

The lead­ing coach, and mother of Andy and Jamie, will un­veil her Judy Mur­ray Foun­da­tion next month. She said: ‘No pub­lic in­door fa­cil­i­ties have been built in the past 11 years and that’s un­for­giv­able. We need to crack on or we will miss the boat com­pletely.

‘My ex­pe­ri­ence of ten years as the na­tional coach in Scot­land has helped me recog­nise what’s needed. There are huge pock­ets of the coun­try with no in­door courts, so the chances of max­imis­ing the skills of any child in those ar­eas show­ing a lot of prom­ise are very slim.’

The foun­da­tion will start by iden­ti­fy­ing three projects in dis­ad­van­taged or ru­ral ar­eas and give a three-year com­mit­ment to teach ten­nis in what­ever space they have.

Mrs Mur­ray said: ‘It took a long time to put it all to­gether and I want to make sure I’ve got it right be­fore I press the green but­ton. I’m de­ter­mined it will make a dif­fer­ence.

‘This is a char­i­ta­ble foun­da­tion. It is not about mak­ing money or stars but mak­ing sport fun, some­thing the kids, coaches and par­ents can en­joy for the fu­ture.’

Em­pha­sis­ing that the foun­da­tion is not about pro­duc­ing elite play­ers but keep­ing youngsters ac­tive, ed­u­cat­ing coaches and in­volv­ing par­ents, she added: ‘If we can show more peo­ple how to run ses­sions, there will be a lot more op­por­tu­nity and ac­tiv­ity. My pas­sion for ten­nis is real and I get my hands dirty.’

Mrs Mur­ray’s new book, Know­ing the Score, has been short­listed for Sports Book of the Year. She said: ‘I started as a vol­un­teer coach at Dun­blane Sports Club when my kids were tod­dlers. There was noth­ing for the juniors back then.

‘Coaches couldn’t make a liv­ing year-round be­cause we didn’t have in­door fa­cil­i­ties. Now we have more, but nowhere near enough to al­low us to cap­i­talise on the buzz Jamie and Andy have achieved.

‘There’s so much in­ter­est in ten­nis up here now and so much sup­port for the boys that I want to do as much as I can to grow the game. I’m de­ter­mined to do my bit to make us a health­ier and fit­ter na­tion.’

win­ning

team: Judy Mur­ray with her grand slam and Olympic cham­pion son Andy

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