Town to be home to new national academy
LOUGHBOROUGH is to be the home of a new national tennis academy as part of an ambitious 10-year vision by the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA).
The announcement on Tuesday unveiled plans for a centre at Loughborough University and at Tennis Scotland operating at the University of Stirling.
It is the first major milestone in the LTA’s 10-year Performance Strategy for British Tennis, which focuses on making GB one of the most respected nations in the world for player development.
Due to open in September 2019, the academies will set new, world-class stand- ards for the holistic development of high-potential British players in transformative, full-time, residential, training environments.
These programmes will nurture 13 to 18-year-olds (and sometimes younger) as people, players and performers.
Players who demonstrate the greatest future potential in the sport will be selected and supported with worldclass coaching, science, medicine, and welfare expertise, whilst also being provided an excellent mainstream education up to at least GCSE-level.
Eleven new Regional Player Development Centres across the country have also been confirmed. These will provide quality support to high potential junior play- ers aged between 10 and 14, and the right coaching and athletic development for those aiming to progress to a National Academy.
To support the new Performance Strategy for British Tennis, the LTA has formed its first-ever Performance Advisory Group comprising of Jamie Delgado - coach to Andy Murray and former professional player; Sam Smith, broadcaster and former British No.1 and Tim Henman, a former four-time Wimbledon semifinalist and world No.4, who will support the LTA in continually reviewing and evolving the performance strategy.
LTA’s performance director Simon Timson said: “I am delighted to announce Stirling and Loughborough as the homes of Britain’s first National Academies. They will be at the heart of our new player pathway for aspiring future champions. National Academies will offer our highest potential 18 and under players the opportunity to train together in a vibrant environment, with world-class facilities and the best coaches, science, medicine and welfare expertise, nurturing a new wave of talent and future British champions.”
Loughborough University’s executive director of sport, John Steele, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen by the LTA to host a National Academy at Loughborough University.
“This is an extremely exciting opportunity.”
■ Andy Murray and Jamie Delgado Photo by Clive Brunskill Getty Images