Out of leafy SW19, to poorest parts of Scotland, Judy’s tennis crusade
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.’
team: Judy Murray with her grand slam and Olympic champion son Andy