Sport England cuts funding
LTA loses out as participation numbers shrink
Last Updated: April 4, 2012 7:41am
Participation numbers down by a quarter in five years
A drop of almost 25% in the number of adults playing tennis has led to Sport England cutting their funding of the sport by £530,000.
The funding body cite "disappointing participation figures" and the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) have paid the price for seeing the average number of adults playing tennis at least once a week having declined from 487,500 in 2007/08 to 375,800, according to Sport England's Active People survey.
Roger Draper, the LTA's chief executive said: "We recognise that the Active People Survey results are disappointing and accept this reduction in funding.
"We continue to work closely with Sport England in order to grow tennis. Like other sports we face a huge challenge to increase the numbers playing tennis regularly in challenging economic times but participation is our top priority."
Sport England do accept the LTA have made strong progress in talent development, and the organisation can point to encouraging figures in relation to young players.
LTA figures show more than 50,000 juniors play six or more competitive matches a year, up from 8,400 in 2007, and around 100,000 juniors play mini tennis.
The LTA's funding award for 2009-2013 now stands at £24.5m - they were also hit in the Comprehensive Spending Review.
Sport England's chief executive Jennie Price said: "The decisions announced today follow lengthy discussions with each of the governing bodies.
"No decision to reduce funding is taken lightly, but Sport England has been clear that failure to achieve the agreed growth in a sport would lead to a governing body's overall funding levels being reviewed."