Serving the many

15th September 2000 at 01:00
AS AN observation on "Back to the baseline in top tennis" (TESS, September 1), very few of the 200 tennis clubs in Scotland are lucky enough to be able to afford the services of a full-time professional coach. Let's hope that a large proportion of the pound;10 million mentioned in the article is used to improve the situation.

There are many dedicated and talented players who would be only too willing to gain coaching qualifications to enable them to coach youngsters at their club. The courses on offer, however, are expensive and often run over a long weekend which includes a Friday, when many people cannot take leave.

Few tennis clubs these days are stuffy or expensive. But tennis is in competition with so many other acivities which receive better funding. I agree that schools should be approached and pupils encouraged to take up the game - at their local club. Perhaps the Scottish Lawn Tennis Association, in conjunction with the local councils would contribute financially. At present both the Scottish Football Association and Scottish Rugby Union are involved in such schemes in the west of Scotland.

The SLTA should pay more attention to the smaller clubs, which are in the majority, and not just the large sports clubs like the David Lloyd centres which are expensive and beyond the reach of many. Let's try to encourage as many youngsters as possible, not just the elite few.

Lynn Thompson

Crawford Avenue


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