14 - 16 September 2018

Davis Cup by BNP Paribas

Emirates Arena, Glasgow

Davis Cup: 3,000 kids join British tennis stars on court

  • 17/09/2018

  • Major Events

The Great Britain Davis Cup team welcomed over 3,000 local school children to the Emirates Arena in Glasgow, ahead of their World Group play-off tie against Uzbekistan. 

Youngsters from over 60 schools around Glasgow, and North and South Lanarkshire were invited to meet the team and watch a practice session, before a lucky few were picked from the crowd to play on the match court with Captain Leon Smith and players including six-time Grand Slam doubles champion Jamie Murray and rising star Cameron Norrie.

The on-court activities were taken from the LTA's flagship kids' initiative Tennis for Kids, which is aimed at children aged 4-11. The programme was launched in 2016 following Great Britain’s historic Davis Cup victory in 2015 and has now inspired over 61,000 children to pick up a racket for the first time, with over 25,000 getting involved this year alone. Aimed at those who have never played tennis before, Tennis for Kids now runs all year round and is delivered by trained and accredited LTA coaches. It also offers parents the chance to join in to encourage families to get on court together. 

Sign up to Tennis for Kids! 

Six coaching sessions, a racket and ball set, and a personalised t-shirt – all for £25. Don’t miss out on the fun and sign up today!

The Great Britain Davis Cup team, formed of  Jamie Murray, Cameron Norrie, Jay Clarke, Dan Evans and Dom Inglot along with Leon Smith, were cheered into the arena by the thousands of children before they were put through their paces with a fun Q&A and on-court session.

All of the children who came along were offered a free pair of tickets to the tie, so they could sample the unique atmosphere of a Davis Cup event and watch the British tennis stars live in action. Further tickets were also given to groups including local universities, coaches and children currently enrolled in training programmes, as a way to open tennis up to more fans and enable them to enjoy professional tennis.

Great Britain's 3-1 victory over Uzbekistan at the weekend means the team will be seeded at February’s qualifying round for the new week-long season finale in November, following the announcement of next year’s Davis Cup reform.

Who said what? 

Matthew Smith, aged 10 from Logans Primary School:

“Today has been so much fun and I’ve loved watching professional tennis players live. Jamie Murray is my favourite player and I can’t wait to come back at the weekend to watch him play.” 

Leon Smith, Great Britain Davis Cup Captain: 

“Being back in Glasgow and having the chance to meet thousands of our young fans at this special kids' day is a huge motivation for our team and something we were really looking forward to. As a team, we are passionate about getting children into tennis and it’s such a big part of all our lives. By making the sport more accessible, we hope even more children will get involved, sign up to a Tennis for Kids course and cheer the team on this weekend.”

Oliver Scadgell, Participation Director at the LTA:

“Making tennis more relevant, accessible, welcoming and enjoyable for more kids is a key focus for the LTA and Tennis for Kids is one of the most successful and innovative children’s programmes the LTA has delivered in trying to achieve this ambition. Giving young children a positive first experience of tennis is so important and days like today, where children from all across Scotland get to meet their Davis Cup heroes, will hopefully engage them in tennis for life. As more Tennis for Kids courses become available throughout the autumn, we encourage more children and their parents to take the opportunity to sign up, pick up a racket, meet new friends and have fun playing tennis.”

Blane Dodds, CEO of Tennis Scotland:

“It is great to welcome back the Davis Cup to Scotland as it acts as a fantastic platform to introduce kids to tennis, and to see so many young people inspired by today’s event. We have seen over 1,500 kids sign up to Tennis for Kids across Scotland this year alone and today’s event gives us the chance to motivate more young people in Scotland. The popularity of the sport right now is a credit to the hard work of coaches and facilities across Scotland, the work of organisations like Glasgow Life and the fantastic Scottish role models we have in our current players and coaches.”

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