Tennis Scotland offers to help improve ‘shambles’ facilities

Tennis Scotland's Blane Dodds

Chief executive Blane Dodds revealed Tennis Scotland has offered to help improve the tennis facilities described as a “shambles” by Andy Murray.

The two-time Wimbledon champion’s retort on his Twitter account in which he also tagged in @tennisscotland was in response to a parent’s plea for help to get public tennis courts in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire, up to scratch.

Dodds was speaking after helping to officially open the state-of-the-art tennis facilities at Argyll Park, Alexandria, which benefited from GBP 200,000 investment from Tennis Scotland, LTA, sportscotland and West Dunbartonshire Council and he told PA news agency that more help is available for facilities all over the country.

“We have been working hard with West Dunbartonshire Council to do as Andy Murray suggested and that is help local authorities and leisure trusts develop their tennis facilities,” he said.

“These facilities have been hit hard and we appreciate that but we are here to help. That is the message today; get in touch.

“We have reached out to the East Kilbride one that Andy has highlighted and we expect to be talking to them about what we can do to help them but we are delighted to see what we can do to help others throughout Scotland.

“I would love to own and operate the facilities but unfortunately we don’t, that’s for the local authorities and leisure trusts throughout Scotland but we want to work with them and we do ask any local authority or leisure trust that has a public tennis facility, please get in touch and we can see how we can help you.

“The LTA have been fantastic in putting resources in place and we, along with sportscotland, have been working closely with them on this project and other projects that we are talking to other local authorities about, so we can actually help develop these types of quality facilities for the community to enjoy, whether that is investment or programming.

“We know the pandemic has perhaps pushed things like sports facilities down the priority list but we are here to help.

“There’s lots of facilities that we have had an interest in and worked through over the last few years.

“Since 2014 there has been GBP 5million invested in tennis facilities through various means, sportscotland, LTA, community funds, so we have been working hard and these facilities exist throughout Scotland because of that but more has to be done clearly.”