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Judy Murray plans Scots academy

LTA performance director Judy Murray
Murray is enthused by Justine Henin's facility in Belgium

LTA performance director Judy Murray aims to build a tennis club with its own academy in Scotland.

"I want to establish a top-quality coaching environment for Scotland, where there is a real shortage of tennis training facilities," she said.

"We want to create a club atmosphere to encourage players to fulfil their potential as well as attract some of the best coaches in the country."

She has identified a site in Stirling and plans to open by 2010.

Murray, who previously coached both her sons Andy and Jamie, wants her project to have 12 tennis courts - four indoor hard courts, four red clay courts and four outdoor hard courts - as well as four mini tennis courts.

However, the University of Stirling, the base for the Scottish Institute of Sport, already offers indoor and clay courts at its Gannochy Tennis Centre.

"I'm very hopeful that once we have the plans finalised and the site aquired, we will attract a lot of interest to help fund and develop a base where kids can develop their full potential," added Murray.

"There's no question we have talented kids. All we need is a facility and the right people to drive it."

Murray was appointed talent and performance manager for Scotland in May 2007 to help the LTA find and nurture young British players.

Being members of a club, the kids have a sense of belonging

Judy Murray

The former Scotland national coach also acts as an adviser to the new Tennis Leadership Team at the LTA.

She recently lavished praise on a Belgian tennis academy in Limelette, on the outskirts of Brussels, partly-run by former world number one Justine Henin.

The Henin-Rodriguez club has invited 13-year old Edinburgh starlet Emma Devine to come on trial with a view to joining an elite squad of young players being set-up by Carlos Rodriguez.

The Argentine coached seven-times Grand Slam singles winner Henin before her shock retirement in May.

Murray, who has been working closely with Emma, wrote about the so-called 'Sixth Sense Academy' on the LTA website.

"I visited recently and just loved the facility and the concept," she enthused.

"Justine bought an existing club on the outskirts of Brussels a few years ago and has spent a lot of time and money developing the clubhouse and the courts before officially opening it last December.

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"There is a good core club programme for kids, adults and teams and social events as well as the high-performance arm. This is exactly how it should work.

"Being members of a club, the kids have a sense of belonging. They have club teams to aim for and be part of and they have a huge pool of sparring partners, young and old.

"It helps to have six indoor hard courts, three covered red clay and five outdoor red clay courts.

"They also have a team of coaches of different nationalities, bringing ideas from other countries, all working together to create a top quality club programme.

"They are looking for about 20 young players to start in the full-time academy programme from September."

Judy's youngest son Andy, the British number one, spent most of his teenage years at the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona.




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