Tennis Wales reports boom in player numbers
Tennis Wales has reported a big increase in the number of people playing the sport across Wales.
According to the latest Lawn Tennis Association participation figures for Wales, in the 12 months to May 2023, 176,000 adults picked up a racket and played tennis at least once, while 71,000* adults played monthly.
These figures are a significant increase from 2019 when around 130,000 were playing annually and 31,000 played monthly.
The participation figures also reveal that more than 50,000 women are playing annually on courts across Wales.
The number of children participating in tennis has also grown with 27,000 playing tennis each week while 154,000 play at least once a year.
In addition, the sport reports high levels of latent demand, with more than 50,000 school children wanting to participate and try tennis according to the Sport Wales School Sport Survey for 2023.
Jamie Clewer, Head of Participation at Tennis Wales said: “These figures show how our sport has ‘opened up’ to new and returning players in the last few years. Our network of tennis courts across Wales includes public parks, tennis clubs, commercial facilities and community indoor tennis centres. Together we’re seeing amazing participation rates in the game”.
Reflecting on the Sport Wales School Sports Survey figures he added: “We’ve provided free LTA Youth Schools teacher training to more than 650 Welsh teachers, and via the LTA Tennis Foundation, invested £250 into each school that has completed the training for tennis coaching and equipment.
“Our network of accredited tennis coaches are superb, welcoming children into the game through our LTA Youth programme in Wales, with fun games, and smaller courts and rackets”.
Tennis Wales’s strategy to ‘open up’ tennis, which launched in 2019, includes an Equality, Diversity and Inclusion plan which has boosted female participation and the size of its female workforce.
The organisation has also invested in the disability coaching sessions.
Tennis has also been introduced into more under-served communities through the LTA SERVES programme and thanks to Welsh Government support, an anti-racist project has also been created.
Since the start of the scheme the first LGBTQ+ tennis club in Wales has also been established.
Elsewhere, a new National Facility Plan has prioritised capital investment into the game and is building low-cost indoor structures in areas of poor tennis provision, modernising tennis club facilities and refurbishing public parks as part of a UK-wide investment by the UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation.
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