Hope for new tennis cash in wake of Murray victory

File photo dated 07/07/2013 of Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates with the trophy after defeating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the Men's Final.
File photo dated 07/07/2013 of Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates with the trophy after defeating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the Men's Final.

An indoor tennis facility and more invesment in coaching are vital if the Borders is to capitalise on Andy Murray’s Wimbledon win on Sunday.

Dunblane native Murray became the first Briton to lift the tournament’s men’s singles trophy since 1936, when he beat Novak Djokovic in straight sets.

St. Boswells Tennis Courts.

St. Boswells Tennis Courts.

And this week saw Sport Scotland, and Tennis Scotland, announce investment of almost £6million, to hopefully cash in on Murray’s success.

The money will be pumped in over four years and will include funding for community tennis projects, upgrading public facilities and the development of up to four indoor tennis centres.

Tennis Borders chairman, Malcolm Cattermole, says attracting junior players is not the problem with a healthy turnout at many clubs.

The real issue, he says, is the lack of a dedicated indoor facility to make tennis a four-season sport in the Borders.

“I definitely hope some of this new money will find its way into Borders tennis,” Mr Cattermole told us.

He explained: “There have been some discussions over the viability of an indoor facility, but it is still early days.

“However, in order to get a serious development programme then tennis has to be a four-season sport.”

Mr Cattermole says a lot of work is already being done in schools and with junior coaching programmes, but further investment is still needed.

And he highlighted one disappointment as being the lack of success in persuading the local authority to increase the length of any new school games halls by a few metres.

“You can fit a tennis court into a games hall, but the modern game is played outside the court. But there’s been no movement on this – there’s just no imagination there.”

Quizzed on whether the Borders might be in line for a slice of the £6million, Sport Scotland told us no decisions had yet been made.

Charles Strang, chairman of St Boswells Tennis Club, was at Wimbledon to see Murray make history.

He told us: “Andy wanted to be a great champion and to do that he had to go to Spain at a very young age.

“That’s all very well, but in terms of Scotland, it is the wider benefits we need to look at, with more people getting exercise and the best way to do that is to have fun and that’s what tennis is great for.”

Asked about Sunday’s final, Mr Strang added: “I was optimistic it would be a great game. I knew Djokovic would play his heart out, as would Andy, and they didn’t disappoint.

“But it still came runner-up to the birth of a new granddaughter on the same day”