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Rackets at the ready: funding announced to improve diversity in tennis

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 05: <> during the Junior National Tennis Championships at National Tennis Centre on April 05, 2022 in London, England. (Photo by Tom Dulat/Getty Images for LTA)

Tennis Wales has announced £74,820.00 funding from Welsh Government to create a new, national tennis programme which will support more young people from ethnically diverse communities to access the sport.

Delivered as part of the LTA (Lawn Tennis Association) SERVES initiative – a UK-wide project supporting under-served communities to take part in tennis – the new programme will include weekly tennis sessions across twelve locations in Wales.

Not only will the sessions invite new players to take part in fun, introductory tennis activities, the programme will also provide long-term development opportunities for young people hoping to forge a career in sport. Players will be supported to lead coaching sessions, and even offered fully-funded bursaries to access LTA Coach Development qualifications – the first steps needed to become a professional tennis coach.   

A new role will be created at Tennis Wales to work with diverse communities across the nation, ensuring the next generation of players are supported and, above all, their voices are represented at decision-making level.

Jamie Clewer, Tennis Wales Head of Participation, said: “This new programme aims to encourage over 350 young people from diverse communities to try tennis, and we’re particularly keen to welcome more women and girls to the sport.

“We will develop new opportunities to play tennis through this programme, and hope the programme highlights the power of sport to bring people together. At the heart of what we do, we will listen to what communities want and need to enable them to play tennis and develop their skills.”   

The grant is being awarded to support delivery of the Welsh Government Anti-Racist Action Plan and aims to welcome more young players of all abilities to take part in tennis.

Tennis Wales joins 21 other organisations in receiving funding from the Welsh Government’s Anti Racism Action Plan.

Discussing the funding, Deputy Minister Dawn Bowden said: “Our national and local museums, galleries, libraries, theatres, and sporting venues need to be inclusive of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people and places.

“Our culture, heritage and sports services must be culturally competent and reflective of the history and contribution made by Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people to Welsh society.”

“I am committed to delivering the goals and actions in the Anti-racist Wales Action Plan and the Programme for Government commitments within my portfolio. I look forward to our continued progress as we deliver meaningful change with and for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic people across Wales.”

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