Tennis star Laura Robson has been announced as the UK ambassador for Virgin Active’s Junior Tennis Academy – including a new grass-roots initiative set-up to boost participation levels in the sport amongst under 16’s.

This new programme aims to provide a solid foundation for budding Tennis players wanting to have fun, improve fitness and conquer Wimbledon and beyond.  The importance of investment into grassroots sports has been well documented, not only to guide the potential stars of tomorrow but also to maintain the sporting legacy of the 2012 Olympics.

Laura Robson’s phenomenal success to date is partially due to the rigorous training regime the athlete adopted during her early years, which allowed her talent to be nurtured and leading Laura to become one of the top current female British Tennis players.  Laura hopes to motivate and inspire a new generation of tennis stars, especially teenage girls who are known to drop out of sport at an earlier age, by taking on an ambassadorial role for the initiative which is open to all members aged 3-16.

OTHER KEY INFORMATION

  • 88% of 14 year-old girls aren’t doing the recommended amount of physical activity
  • 23% of women say PE classes at school put them off sporting activity for life
  • Sport England figures show there was a near 25% drop in adults playing tennis in 2012 compared to 2008
  • Launched  in 2012 Virgin Active is investing heavily into its racquets programme following the acquisition of new sites in 2012, including over £1.5m on 81 new court surfaces and facilities
  • The pilot programmes have shown an average increase  175% in participation
  • There are currently over 4,000 members of the academies including 200 who receive sponsorship to train in the clubs
Sir Richard Branson and Laura Robson

Sir Richard Branson and Laura Robson (Virgin Press)

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