Judy Murray hopes Andy’s comeback can inspire children to take up tennis
Tennis coach Judy Murray is hopeful an online clip of son Andy on the road to recovery will encourage more families to seek out sports facilities.
The three-time grand slam winner had a hip resurfacing operation in January as he attempts to return to competitive action.
On Monday, the 31-year-old shared a short clip on his Instagram Story, hitting forehands and backhands against a wall with the caption “it’s a start”.
The sentiment was echoed by his mother, who was leading children and parents in starter tennis sessions at courts in Maryhill, Glasgow, which have recently been restored by volunteers.
She told the Press Association: “It’s early days, he’s still recovering from his surgery. We’ll need to wait and see.
“He was out hitting a ball against a wall this week, which he posted a picture of on Instagram and of course it’s perfect because all the kids who see that – or even adults – go ‘wow, practice walls’. Where’s the practice walls nowadays?
“If you haven’t got anybody to play with the ball always comes back when you play against the wall.
“If we could get something going here where we could resurface three or four of the courts and put in a practice wall it would just be such a wonderful facility for all the local people.”
The ash courts at Maryhill Park were highlighted by the Judy Murray Foundation, which works with local charity PEEK (Possibilities for Each and Every Kid).
Murray is hopeful her involvement in the session, attended by 35 families in the north of Glasgow, will increase investment and possible interest to “protect the space before it turns into something else”.
The coach said it was vital to involve parents, who are “the first port of call” for children interesting in following the Murray brothers on to tennis courts.
She added: “If we are going to grow tennis on the back of Jamie and Andy’s success and we’re going to make it accessible and affordable to everybody, we have to come into communities like this and we have to ensure the public spaces are fit for play.
“We have a huge obesity problem in Scotland and so much of it is caused by inactivity – we’re in big danger from this preoccupation with screens.
“We need to get families out in the fresh air and being active and doing things together.
“To have a facility like this that is not being used is absolutely criminal.
“Every sport needs the role models to create the profile, the excitement and the inspiration, but every sport is only as good as its grass roots and for me this is grass roots.”