The national governing body for tennis in Wales has announced a rise in the amount of primary school pupils from across Caerphilly County Borough playing the sport.
TennisWales announced that 208 pupils took part in primary school tennis competitions in 2016, an 86% rise from the previous year.
There have been calls for the body and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to capitalise on the recent feats of Andy Murray.
On Sunday November 20 2016, Murray enforced his position as the number one tennis player in the world with victory over previous incumbent Novak Djokovic at the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals in London.
Murray achieved the top ranking after a stellar second half to the year, winning the Wimbledon title, a gold medal at the Rio Olympics, and a number of smaller events to overtake his Serbian rival in a feat many predicted near impossible. Murray’s brother, Jamie, also sits top of the doubles rankings.
The county borough only has one tennis club, based next to Virginia Park in Caerphilly, but there are efforts to develop local leagues on open-access courts to support more participation.
TennisWales has outlined its support for Caerphilly Tennis Club in running programmes at ‘non-traditional’ venues such as Ystrad Mynach Park and Sue Noake Leisure Centre.
The body also has plans to develop a ‘School of Tennis’ programme in the county borough which would see three comprehensive schools receive Tennis Foundation funding and support of up to £10,000 each across three years.
TennisWales CEO, Peter Drew, said: “Tennis can be played in a wide range of formats in all kinds of venues these days, so people don’t need to belong to a tennis club or even have access to conventional courts to play.
“Tennis Wales has been working with Caerphilly County Borough Council, Caerphilly Tennis Club and other partners to involve people in the game through schools, leisure centres and other venues.”