British tennis has seen a positive surge in the past year with more women and children participating in the sport than ever before.
The LTA has announced that adult participation in tennis increased by 43 per cent on the previous year in 2022.
The number of adults that reported they had played tennis went from 3.3 million to 4.7 million to mark the highest total recorded since 2017.
The LTA added that over three-and-a-half million children played tennis in 2022, while women’s participation grew 34 per cent last year, in a sport where 41 per cent of adult tennis players are female.
At the LTA our vision is tennis opened up, and we’ve worked hard to put solid foundations in place to make tennis more accessible. I’d like to thank everyone involved in British tennis for playing their part in growing the game.
LTA chief executive Scott Lloyd said: “We are delighted with these figures and the fact that more and more people are choosing tennis. At the LTA our vision is tennis opened up, and we’ve worked hard to put solid foundations in place to make tennis more accessible.
“We have a fantastic network of coaches, volunteers, clubs and park courts – and we’re investing in all of these to make it as easy as possible for people to get involved.”
Lloyd continued: “We’re also committed to making our sport more inclusive and ensuring it appeals to a wider demographic through specially tailored initiatives.
“We’ve also got some brilliant players at the top of the game who are flying the flag for British tennis internationally and providing inspiration to fans and the next generation alike. I’d like to thank everyone involved in British tennis for playing their part in growing the game.”
How important are Andy Murray and Emma Raducanu to the success of British tennis?
The LTA’s participation director Olly Scadgell explained: “Andy and Emma have had some great success but we’ve seen a lot of success amongst a very large number of British players over the last 12 to 18 months.
“We certainly know that success on the court leads to visibility of tennis, which in turn has an impact on hopefully encouraging people to pick up a racket and play, so that’s fundamentally important.
“Only just last week we had Alfie Hewett and Gordon Reid again be successful in the wheelchair events at the Aussie Open so it is really, really important that we continue to see success at the top end of the sport.
“We saw our Billie Jean King Cup team perform extremely well and reach the semi-finals in that event at the end of last year and all of this really helps raise the profile of tennis and hopefully inspire more people to pick up a racket and play.”
Key growth areas in British tennis
Young people: Annual participation among 16-34 year-olds jumped 48 per cent in a year – more than any other age category.
Lower socio-economic groups: The biggest playing increase (53 per cent) has been recorded among lower socio-economic groups.
Children: 3.63m (aged 4-15 of which 49 per cent are female) are now playing tennis, which represents an increase of 418,000 during 2022.
Women’s participation: A growth of 34 per cent last year, in a sport where 41 per cent of adult tennis players are female, meaning tennis is one of the most gender balanced sports in the country.
Source : Sky Sports