LTA chief Lloyd hails impact of Fed Cup tie on Newham
PUBLISHED: 16:08 25 April 2019
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Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) chief executive Scott Lloyd has called last weekend's Fed Cup tie as a great success both on and off the court.
Great Britain secured a famous victory over Kazakhstan at the Copper Box Arena to qualify for World Group for the first time since 1993 with local fans playing their part over the two days.
“The reason the LTA decided to bring the Fed Cup to East London was to take top level tennis to a new area of the country and allow as many people as possible to experience the thrill of live tennis at affordable ticket prices,” said Lloyd.
“Staging the Fed Cup Play-Off tie here was important. East London isn't traditionally associated with tennis, but it's an area with an incredibly strong connection to unforgettable sporting scenes from London 2012 Olympic Games.
“The Copper Box Arena was the natural choice with its reputation for creating a fantastic atmosphere and it didn't disappoint last weekend.”
Off the court, nearly 10,000 local children took part in tennis sessions in and around Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park before and after the tie thanks to support from the local boroughs, the London Legacy Development Corporation and tennis venues across East London.
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“Our very own Captain Anne Keothavong grew up 10 minutes from the Copper Box and went on to become a world Top 50 player coming through her local parks programme”, added Lloyd.
The LTA has investment nearly £10 million in the local tennis community over the last decade improving tennis facilities in the four boroughs surrounding the Olympic Park.
“We've worked with Newham council to create new tennis facilities – from renovating courts to building new ones and installing floodlights in 4 parks: Stratford Park, Lyle Park, Gooseley Playing fields and Central Park. And it's working.
“Newham tennis now has an annual membership of over 400 members and 22,500 people booked courts through the pay and play scheme over the last 12 months.
“I want the sport I've been involved in all my life be as welcoming and enjoyable as possible. I want to see tennis opened up to anyone with an interest in it - including all abilities and backgrounds and the tens of millions of fans of the sport.
“The atmosphere at last weekend's Fed Cup tie was a brilliant example of this, and that support played a huge part in getting the Great Britain team over the line.”
To find out about the range of LTA programmes in your area visit lta.org.uk.