Tennis

Lawn Tennis Association pledges about £20 million as support

Scott Lloyd. | File

Scott Lloyd. | File   | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The measure is aimed at protecting the grassroots of the sport even as it aspires to support the professional players and coaches, including providing financial grants to the lower-ranked players

The cancellation of Wimbledon this year due to the coronavirus pandemic has dealt a serious blow to the tennis fraternity.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA), which governs the game in Britain, however, has swung into action and pledged around £20 million to tennis venues, coaches, officials and players in order to ensure a healthy revival of the sport in England, Scotland and Wales.

The measure is aimed at protecting the grassroots of the sport even as it aspires to support the professional players and coaches, including providing financial grants to the lower-ranked players.

To ensure viability

“Our primary objective in announcing these unprecedented measures is to ensure clubs and venues remain viable, and coaches and officials are not lost,” said LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd in a statement.

Most significantly, ATP/WTA ranked players in the 101-750 bracket in singles and 101-250 in doubles will get appropriate grants. There will also be increased prize money and tournament bonuses when the events are revived.

Home fitness training kits and virtual training sessions will be made available to targeted player groups.

The financial commitment includes repayment holiday of up to six months for all existing LTA facility loans to the tune of £1 million in all. An equal amount will reach the tennis fraternity through the refund of registration fee for venues for 2019-20.

Hardship fund

A hardship fund of about £13.5 million has been kept to provide interest-free loans of up to £5,000 for those in need. Around £4 million would be provided as financial grant for the LTA-accredited coaches and tutors, apart from a separate fund of around £1 million for interest-free loans for coaches up to £5,000.

There will also be support for tournaments cancelled where the players’ entry fee may have been reimbursed.

In return for the support, the LTA would ask the players and coaches concerned to commit their time to help open up tennis to more people in their area when play resumes.

The Indian Tennis Association and sports administrators should start looking at ways to do their bit, taking inspiration from LTA.

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Printable version | May 26, 2020 10:50:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/tennis/lawn-tennis-association-pledges-about-cas-support/article31259608.ece

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