The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has revealed plans to set up National Academies and Regional Player Development Centres (RPDCs) as part of its new 10-year vision for performance tennis in Britain.
The NGB has already confirmed the locations for two of the academies as part of a new national network, which will be joined by 11 new Regional Player Development Centres.
Tennis Scotland – operating at the University of Stirling – and Loughborough University have been named as the first two National Academies for tennis. The other 10 academies are due to open in September 2019.
The implementation of the strategy will be supported by the setting up of a Performance Advisory Group, consisting of former players Jamie Delgado, Tim Henman and Sam Smith.
The LTA says that the National Academies will play a crucial role in the implementation of a new "seamless player pathway", which sits at the heart of the new Performance Strategy, led by Performance Director Simon Timson, and aims to make Britain one of the most respected nations in the world for tennis player development.
The new player pathway provides a clear route from beginner’s mini-red to major tournament success to support high potential junior players from the age of seven, playing the sport locally, into the world’s Top 100.
It’s specifically designed to enable the best British players to regularly train and compete with one another at every stage of their development.
“With an emphasis on creating a seamless player pathway for talent development, this new Performance Strategy marks a step-change in the LTA’s approach to developing a pipeline of future tennis champions," said LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd.
"It’s fantastic to see the new player pathway start to become a reality with the confirmation of the National Academies, supported by our new Regional Player Development Centres.
“The success of British players in recent years has given tennis in Britain a huge boost. Our priority now is building on this success, and we recognise that in the past we haven’t always been consistent enough in our approach to player development.
"The new performance strategy has been designed to help create future British tennis champions, who we hope will continue to inspire others to play, watch and enjoy the sport for generations to come."
First published on www.sportparkleisure.com written by Tom Walker, 15 Aug 2018