It’s been tough to watch Andy in pain but, while I feel sad af­ter a hard week, mostly I’m just so very proud

The Sunday Post (Newcastle) - - OPINION - judy mur­ray FOL­LOW ME ON TWIT­TER @JUDYMURRAY

Get­ting kids close to their he­roes should be about sport not money

When Andy and Jamie were lit­tle, Wim­ble­don was just something you saw on TV.

So I took them to see it as part of a trip with Dun­blane Sports Club.

Who knows how big a part that played in the in­spi­ra­tion and be­lief that would lead them to go on and com­pete at the high­est level in the game, but I know they never for­got that day.

Big money will change hands in foot­ball in the Jan­uary trans­fer win­dow.

Sadly, big sums are also be­ing de­manded for the mas­cots who walk out with their he­roes be­fore a match.

Read­ing that some clubs are charg­ing around £500, it made me won­der why sport nowa­days is too much about money-mak­ing and not about in­spir­ing ta­lent.

To me, cash­ing in on kids rep­re­sents ev­ery­thing that is wrong with sports.

Be­ing a match day mas­cot is such a big thing in a child’s life.

The closer you can get kids to the ac­tion the more chance you have of help­ing them be­lieve they can do it – and walk­ing out into a sta­dium with your he­roes is a mas­sive op­por­tu­nity.

The pri­or­ity in sport should be to in­volve kids for whom it would have real mean­ing.

Iknow you will all un­der­stand that it’s not been an easy few days out here in Aus­tralia.

I’m in­cred­i­bly sad to see Andy an­nounce the end of his ten­nis ca­reer. Who would have thought a wee boy from Dun­blane would ever win Wim­ble­don and cre­ate ten­nis his­tory?

He has made our na­tion proud and has proved that any­thing’s pos­si­ble if you want it enough and work your socks off. He’s a clas­sic ex­am­ple of “it’s not what you have, it’s what you do with what you have”.

It’s been very tough to watch what Andy has been go­ing through over the past 18 months.

Try­ing to re­gain his fit­ness af­ter surgery and get back on the tour has been a huge chal­lenge. He’s been in pain for a long time and though he’s been work­ing so hard to re­cover I know just how frus­trat­ing it has been for him.

As a par­ent, all you can do is try to un­der­stand what your chil­dren are go­ing through so you can help in what­ever way is nec­es­sary. But it’s tough to see your kids in con­stant pain.

I’ve said be­fore that with a longterm in­jury like Andy’s, the only thing you can do is trust that you are be­ing given the right advice and try to weigh up the im­pli­ca­tions.

That’s why it’s so im­por­tant to have your fam­ily and old­est friends around to give un­con­di­tional sup­port, and we will con­tinue to be there for him.

I’m hugely proud of what Andy has achieved in the golden era of men’s ten­nis. His com­mit­ment and pro­fes­sion­al­ism are sec­ond to none.

Though these are dif­fi­cult days right now, I’m sure he will con­tinue to have a huge im­pact on the world of ten­nis.

I know he has in­spired so many – young and old – to both watch and play ten­nis and I will con­tinue to hope that the pow­ers that be will find a way to cap­i­talise on his suc­cess to cre­ate a last­ing ten­nis legacy in Scot­land and help to make us a fit­ter, health­ier and more am­bi­tious na­tion.

Judy gives some tips to Andy, the boy who would be champ

A young Jamie and Andy Mur­ray, right, loved sport

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