Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
watch listen BBC Sport BBC Sport
Low graphics|Help
Last Updated: Thursday, 21 June 2007, 15:03 GMT 16:03 UK
Cash critical over LTA 'elitism'
Pat Cash won Wimbledon in 1987
Cash wants more to be done to get youngsters into tennis
Pat Cash claims the Lawn Tennis Association's National Tennis Centre reinforces the sport's elitist image.

The former Wimbledon champion believes the 39m development in Roehampton has come at the expense of attracting much needed fresh blood into tennis.

"The LTA have only made themselves more elitist by developing a facility that no street kids can use," said Cash.

Meanwhile, Greg Rusedski has taken a job with the LTA to help develop and identify young talent.

The former world number four, who announced his retirement in April, will work with the LTA's head of technical support Steven Martens.

Rusedski will also travel with British junior teams to help the players prepare for international competition.

"Attracting and nurturing talented young athletes is crucial as we look to get more players competing at the highest level," he said.

"I am really looking forward to passing on my experiences as a top player and acting as a mentor to young players and coaches and playing a part in producing more winners in British tennis."

The LTA are starting to move in the right direction but it's not enough and it's too slow

Former Wimbledon champion Pat Cash

The LTA opened the National Tennis Centre in March this year, citing the need for a world class facility to enable British players to realise their potential.

But Cash believes more should be done to try and get youngsters into the sport.

"The LTA did need a beautiful, elite training centre, which they have got, but I would have liked to have seen it the other way round," the Australian added.

"What they needed to do was get the kids playing in the schools and parks, get the kids into tennis. Then when we get these champions, get a great spec centre for them.

"Instead, they have gone let's get a great centre first, where we can have our tea and our coffee and have some beautiful meetings, and then look at the kids.

"The LTA must start working on getting kids into tennis now. That is the big problem with British tennis."

And Cash has urged the powers that be to improve facilities in public places to encourage people to play the game.

"If tennis is going to be successful, if Britain is to produce champions, then it has to be introduced to schools. Parks, too - there should be free tennis in parks," he said.

"I live near Bishops Park in Fulham. Sometimes I go down there with my boys with a basket of balls and there are holes in the court and the nets are horrible - and I have got to pay 10 for it.

"Which kid is going to come down and play tennis there? Forget it. They get a football and off they go.

"The LTA are starting to move in the right direction but it's not enough and it's too slow."

A new home for British tennis
29 Mar 07 |  Tennis
Roehampton pictures
13 Apr 07 |  Tennis
LTA sells Queen's Club for 35m
14 Dec 06 |  Tennis


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Daily and weekly e-mails | Mobiles | Desktop Tools | News Feeds | Interactive Television | Downloads
Sport Homepage | Football | Cricket | Rugby Union | Rugby League | Tennis | Golf | Motorsport | Boxing | Athletics | Snooker | Horse Racing | Cycling | Disability sport | Olympics 2012 | Sport Relief | Other sport...

Help | Privacy & Cookies Policy | News sources | About the BBC | Contact us