SNP MP DEMANDS FAIR PLAY FOR SCOTTISH TENNIS
NEWLANDS HITS OUT AT LACK OF FUNDING FOR TENNIS SCOTLAND FROM LTA
During questions to Minister for Sport and Civil Society, Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, called on the UK Government to back calls for Tennis Scotland to receive fair funding from the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) which would help support Tennis Scotland and Judy Murray’s drive to improve access to tennis in Scotland.
Newlands, who chairs the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Scottish Sport, confirmed the party’s support for a ‘Murray legacy’ to increase participation in Scottish tennis through a transformational investment in coaching, infrastructure, and grassroots support, calling the continued lack of funding from the LTA a “scandalous missed opportunity”.
Writing in The Times newspaper last week, the MP also urged the LTA to properly fund Scottish tennis to assist the next generation of Scottish tennis players, many of whom have been inspired by the Murray brothers. Currently, Tennis Scotland receives only 1% of the LTA’s revenue funding annually - worth just £700k from a £70 million budget. A fair population-based share would amount to £6million per year in revenue funding.
The SNP MP has also been calling for greater recognition of the Murrays’ contributions to British tennis following the LTA’s embarrassing failure to mention the Murrays in their 36-page mission statement.
Commenting, Gavin Newlands MP said:
“As the Chair of the APPG on Scottish Sport, I have been calling for Tennis Scotland to receive its fair share of funding since 2017 – the crucial first step in ensuring we establish a Murray Legacy.
“Given the reluctance of the LTA to play fair with Scotland’s future tennis stars, it is crucial that the UK Government ensure that all the nations and regions of the UK receive their fair share.
“Over the last decade, Scotland has been one of the world’s leading tennis nations and the LTA must recognise this.
“The continued lack of funding for Tennis Scotland during the decade of the Murrays’ success is, quite frankly, a scandalous missed opportunity.
“It is vital that we invest to develop players that may one day match, or perhaps surpass, Andy Murray. To do this, the LTA must provide adequate funding to Scotland. Other than the LTA themselves- the UK Government is currently best places to ensure that this happens.”