The LTA has announced a multi-million pound package of additional funding for the British tennis fraternity affected by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Players – including singles and doubles players ranked outside the world 100 and who don’t receive financial support from the governing body – as well as coaches, officials and tennis venues will all benefit from the roughly £20m that has been set aside.
The LTA confirmed that the funding and support will aid those who have been most severely affected by the pandemic, many of whom have seen their income streams reduced while still needing to pay bills and support families.
The focus is on protecting the grassroots of the sport, but measures have also been put in place to support professional British tennis players and coaches, including financial grants for some lower ranked players who depend on limited tournament prize money to continue in the sport.
It adds to an existing programme of investment and support that the LTA has continued to make available both during and after the pandemic as part of its strategy to grow tennis and open it up to many more people.
Scott Lloyd, LTA Chief Executive, said: “The first priority at this time is the health and wellbeing of everybody, and our thoughts are with anyone who has been affected by the coronavirus. Our sport is far from exempt from its impact, and this pandemic has the potential to put the continued future growth of tennis at significant risk. We know that many involved in tennis in Britain are concerned about their futures and are facing significant challenges, and so our primary objective in announcing these unprecedented measures is to ensure clubs and venues remain viable and coaches and officials are not lost to the sport.
“We hope that the combination of this new package and the continuation of our existing support will help ensure they are all able to operate post COVID-19. We want them all to play their part in delivering our collective vision of opening up tennis to many more people through activity like our LTA Youth programme to engage the next generation in tennis and our LTA Rally digital platform that will help people easily find and book tennis courts and activities.”
The LTA also announced it will make use of the UK government’s furloughing scheme with any staff who are placed on unpaid leave during the time receiving 80% of their base salary. LTA chief Lloyd and the executive team will also take a 20% reduction in salary.
Details of the support packages, including when different aspects will be available from and how they are being implemented for eligible people and venues, will be provided on the LTA website.
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