While her sons were headlining on the court in Glasgow this weekend, Judy Murray was hard at work on the road.
With Tennis on the Road, that is.
Beginning on Monday, March 2, Murray and her team put on 13 sessions of the program over the four days leading up to Great Britain’s first round Davis Cup World Group tie against the United States. The latest installment of Murray’s flagship traveling tennis roadshow was a huge success as a kickoff to the weekend’s festivities.
Tennis on the Road began in late 2014, as an initiative started by Murray to help bring the sport she loves to areas in Scotland where interest is high, but tradition is absent. Supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland, the tour began on the Isle of Harris, before moving on to Stornoway, Cumbernauld and East Lothian.
After beginning in Glasgow, the second leg of the four-day tour was a two-day stop in Murray’s hometown of Stirling, and a visit to Dunblane Primary, her sons’ childhood school.
Her sons have been the driving inspiration for Tennis on the Road, as Murray takes some of the games they loved as children and incorporated them into the sessions. The program aims to give the adults in children’s lives – parents, coaches, teachers and volunteers – the tools to not only get them started in tennis, but to get them active. Offering four different courses – Set4Sport, Set4Tennis, Set4Coaching and Set4Competition – the program caters to children aged 5 through 12, and uses ordinary objects to help teach its lessons.
For example, Set4Sport is a generic group of activities which is “designed to introduce agility, balance and coordination using buckets, bean bags, bats, cuddly toys and a bit of imagination.” In Set4Tennis, kids aged 5 to 10 learn the basic of the sport and develop “core skills” by using string nets, socks, hoops, tubes and cereal boxes.
“Tennis on the Road not only exposes children to sport, but it is designed to build capacity in coaching at all levels so that the sporting opportunities in schools, clubs and communities are sustainable for the future,” said Martyn Wilson, Sponsorship Manager for RBS. “It’s also a fantastic initiative and one that we will be encouraging our customers and staff across Royal Bank of Scotland to get involved in.”
Supported by Glasgow Life and Active Sterling, the four-day Davis Cup roadshow visited nine different venues, and more than 260 children and 280 adults got involved.
“Tennis on the Road is about helping to inspire and support parents, teachers and coaches to increase participation and grow the game,” Murray said. “The program focuses on how to deliver simple fun sessions, the types of games that Andy and Jamie loved to play when they were kids. This week’s visit to Glasgow and Stirling has been so much fun and I can’t wait to take Tennis on the Road to more areas across the country this year.”
“What a week it has been for tennis in Scotland,” said Doc McKelvey, Head of Development for Tennis Scotland. “With the Davis Cup in Glasgow, there has been a host of activity taking place from schools festivals to coach education forums. Tennis on the Road has been a fantastic addition to the week and it’s great to have Judy and her team back in 2015.
“Last year’s roadshows were a massive success and this week has lived up to the high standards already set. I hope that many of the adults and children taking part in the roadshow will continue to be involved in tennis for years, too.”
To learn more about Tennis on the Road, visit www.tennisontheroad.com!