Judy Murray encourages more girls to pick up the racket

Judy Murray encourages more girls to pick up the racket

The middle Sunday of Wimbledon is traditionally a day off for the players, however, with many matches still to be played due to rain in the first week of this year’s Championships it was business as usual on the grass court of the All England Club. It was also business as usual for Judy Murray, proud mother of Andy and Jamie, as she continues her work to encourage more girls to pick up a tennis racket.

Judy spent the day at Surbiton Racket and Squash Club, working with local coaches to deliver a Bally Fun Day, a girls team tennis fun day for club players from across the South East, including two teams from Surbiton and a team from the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis. The programme aims to keep more girls playing tennis by providing inspirational days of tennis based around fun team competitions, ranging from tennis matches with a twist to water balloon races – you can safely say the girls had a splash.

The Bally Fun Days have been developed by Judy to help grow a female workforce and to get more girls playing tennis longer, which is delivered as part of the legacy of Bally, former British No.1 tennis player who tragically lost her brave battle to liver cancer at the age of 30 back in 2014. Bally’s was passionate about getting more children from all backgrounds playing tennis and this passion is now fulfilled through her Foundation with the help of Judy and the LTA.

“We need more young girls taking up tennis and this particular event is close to my heart as it builds on Bally’s legacy.”

Judy Murray said : “We need more young girls taking up tennis and this particular event is close to my heart as it builds on Bally’s legacy. We had 60 girls aged 12-16 playing continuously for 3 hours and we followed up the fun tennis activities with ‎team quizzes and a picnic. The social side is usually what keep teens coming back to a sport or hobby.”

One of the parents said : “Izzy had a great time – thank you so much. She was not confident about her tennis before this but today has really inspired her. It’s made me realise what a great family sport tennis is and I hope we’ll now be able to join our local club.”

LTA Head of Participation Rob Dearing said : “It was a fantastic day and great to see so many girls participating in this great sport. I hope this motivates them to continue to play tennis and to get all their friends out on court this summer.”

Surbiton Rackets and Squash Club donated their hire fee which the LTA matched and cakes donated by award-winning baker Alison Powell were sold on the day, raising over £600 for the Elena Baltacha Foundation.

About The Author

Thomas Anderson

Founder and MD of Inclusive Networks. Thomas was Chair of the award winning LGBT network for The Co-operative Group, ‘Respect’ (2011-14). Thomas named the network and designed and managed all of the branding, communications and engagement until he stepped down from the role of Chair in March 2014. He also created the branding, name, was Editor of the quarterly magazine and developed the launch of the UK’s first Inter-Retail LGBT network ‘CheckOUT’. He contributed to the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index 5 Year review. In recognition of his work in the diversity field he was shortlisted for ‘Diversity Champion of the Year’ at the 2013 European Diversity Awards, shortlisted for ‘Role Model of the Year’ at the 2012 Lesbian & Gay Foundation Homo Heroes Awards and shortlisted for the ‘Positive Action’ award at the 2013 Asian Fire Service Association Fair & Diverse Awards. He also won the 2012 ‘Pride of The Co-operative’ award. He was a judge for Scotland's biggest diversity awards, The Icon Awards in 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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