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Merchiston Castle and St George's School for Girls in Edinburgh are to offer tennis programmes for promising players. The schools will provide tennis tuition as well as academic subjects in a tennis academy environment from September. Although successful applicants will be required to pay school fees, a number of bursaries will be available.

Ellinore Lightbody, Scottish national coach, believes the initiative could be extremely significant in shaping a new direction for the sport in this country. "We are delighted that Merchiston and St George's will form this exciting partnership with Tennis Scotland as part of our academy programme," she says.

"The academy will offer a first-class training and competition programme, full sports science and medicine support around a top education tailored to meet the needs of each individual."

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