30/06/2009

Tennis Facilities in Dundee

I have written to the City Council's Leisure and Communities Department today asking about provision of tennis facilities and pathways into tennis in the city. I am pleased that Dundee has a number of free, open access tennis courts in our parks. Whilst it is clearly an ongoing challenge to continue to provide these services and from time to time there are problems with them I think that the council is right to allow open access. I have asked the council how the Sports Development department is ensuring that there are pathways to ensure that anyone with talent is pointed in the right direction. I think that there is a need for collaboration between local private tennis clubs, the council and national tennis authorities to ensure that everyone who could progress in tennis gets the chance.

Like everyone else I was delighted to watch Andy Murray win through to the quarter-finals and I wish him all the best for the rest of Wimbeldon, but we must all join together to ensure that the public and private sector work together to promote tennis in the city. This is important in allowing the next Andy Murray to develop but it is also important to promote physical activity and participation in sport.



Please see below a contribution from my Labour colleague Frank McAveety MSP on tennis facilities across Scotland.



LABOUR REVEAL SHOCKING LACK OF TENNIS COURTS

Labour’s Frank McAveety has called on the Scottish Government to be much more serious about sport after it was revealed that a third of Scottish councils have no tennis facilities. A survey of every local authority in Scotland has found that:
- Ten Scottish Councils have no tennis facilities at all - Four Scottish Councils have only one tennis facility across the entire local authority area - Only four Scottish Councils offer free access to tennis courts for under-16s
Scottish Labour Spokesman on Sport Frank McAveety said:

“I am very disappointed that almost a third of Scottish councils have no tennis facilities whatsoever. Andy Murray’s fantastic performances at Wimbledon will inspire thousands of youngsters to get involved in sport. We need to provide them with places to play.

“Some local authorities have shown a lead in ensuring that tennis courts are free to under-16s. We need other Scottish councils to follow this example and open their doors to children.

“I want to see the Scottish Government investing in tennis and being much serious about investing in sport rather than just talking about it. Not everyone can be an international star like Andy Murray but we can all benefit from an active and healthy lifestyle.”

END

NOTES

Council Tennis Facilities

1. Only four Councils currently offer free access to tennis courts for under-16’s:


Glasgow East Renfrewshire Western Isles Dundee

2. Ten Councils, or 31.25% of Councils, have no Council tennis facilities at all:

Angus East Lothian Falkirk Inverclyde North Lanarkshire Perth Renfrewshire Borders South Ayrshire West Lothian

3. Four Councils have only the one tennis facility across the entire local authority:

These are:
Shetlands East Renfrewshire Orkney West Lothian

This means that 44 per cent of councils have either no tennis facilities at all or just one.