The Lawn Tennis Association has embarked on the most far reaching changes in its 112-year history, as it addresses issues highlighted by the loss of the Davis Cup tie in July and disappointment at the Olympic Games. Changes announced today are the result of a wide-ranging review of existing plans and the largest consultative programme ever carried out by the LTA.

They include:

  • the setting up of new tennis clubs in inner-city parks linked to local schools;
  • incentivising clubs and coaches to develop younger players;
  • working with the tennis industry to make the game more affordable and more fun for youngsters; and
  • giving juniors access to top coaching at an earlier age.
  • Within the LTA, the youngest ever executive board has been appointed to speed up the delivery of programmes designed to improve performance at the top end of the game, encourage wider participation and make tennis more accessible, especially to children. Chief Executive, John Crowther has received unanimous support from the LTA Board to make the changes that he believes will re-establish Britain as a leading tennis-playing nation.

    ‘We don’t just want more players, we want better players,’ he said. ‘We want to see more schoolchildren stay in the sport and fulfil their potential. To achieve this we will focus more resources on promoting the game, finding the most talented players from as young as 8-years-old and developing them with the best coaching and competitive opportunities. We also want to take the game to more children in the inner-cities.

    ‘We can’t expect to see results at international level improve overnight, but we believe the right programmes are in place and that our actions today will lead to tomorrow’s success,’ he added. Having invited views from a wide range of experts on how best to gain maximum success for tennis in Britain, John Crowther announced plans to:

  • create 25 new City Tennis Clubs across six major cities, championed by Tim Henman and Davis Cup Captain Roger Taylor as part of a targeted programme to upgrade park courts and include ‘Kids Zones’ supervised by full-time coaches;
  • incentivise all 2,400 affiliated LTA tennis clubs to open their doors to more players and develop junior performance programmes with priority on dedicated courts, plus provide rewards for coaches who produce performance players;
  • work in partnership and combine resources with the tennis industry, schools, sponsors and private enterprise to break down elitist barriers and provide economical equipment and court time;
  • focus more resources on the identification and development of younger performance players, from county level upwards;
  • promote tennis more aggressively through new media channels and personalities who capture the imagination of the younger generation;
  • set individual targets for every area of the LTA by which to evaluate performance.
  • Wimbledon 2000 income LTA Funding

    The English Lawn Tennis Association has announced that income from the Championships at Wimbledon 2000 amounted to £31.136 million ($44.3 million), a 3-per-cent increase on last year.

    The Championships attracted record crowds of 455,572 over 14 days. Domestic TV viewing figures peaked at a new high for the men’s singles final of 12.5 million (the largest figure for a men’s final for a decade), while the Wimbledon internet site – – attracted an incredible 2.3 billion hits. The new Millennium Building, offering enhanced facilities for players, the media, officials and members, received universal acclaim, as did the Kids Zone interactive attraction.

    All of the income generated by The Championships is ploughed back into the development of the game. Total investment by the LTA this year includes £8.9 million on Performance, which represents a 40-per-cent increase for our performance players over the last three years (£8.1m in 1999); £6.7m on Development (£6.1m), £8.9m on Facilities (£9.1m) and £1.3m on Marketing & Promotion (£0.9m).

    ‘I’m confident that the programme of changes will deliver the results we all want for British Tennis, from the very top of the international game down to the grass roots,’ said John Crowther. ‘We will do everything to accelerate the pace of change and embrace everyone who will work with us to meet our common objectives.’

    For further information contact:

    LTA Press Officer Chris Shaw
    01952 281517
    Nigel Beacham
    Tel: 020 7381 7018