A ONCE-in-a-lifetime chance to see behind the scenes at the National Tennis Centre, in London, as well as witness a high performance training session with three-time Grand Slam champion Sir Andy Murray, was organised for 13 junior members of Skipton Tennis Centre.

The 11 to 15-year-olds watched Murray as he went through a gruelling tactical analysis session which, on this occasion, centred on his serve. The juniors applauded him at the end of his session which got a thumbs up from the tennis ace who won his first singles title since career-saving hip surgery earlier this year by beating Stan Wawrinka at the European Open in October.

Adam Cox, tennis development coach at Skipton Tennis Centre said: “The fact they were able to witness the session was really very special and later had their photograph taken on the court he was using.”

“The analyst session was amazing and captivated not only the juniors but also our coaching team. We were given a behind the scenes tour of how Andy prepares for different opponents on a tactical level and just how much detail and time goes into this kind of preparation. Also training on the day was Maria Sharapova.

“It was an amazing opportunity too for the juniors to see what happens behind the scenes at the LTA headquarters and really opened their eyes on what is involved in the running of the association.

“This trip was one of the first of its kind where a club collaborated with the LTA, through volunteering manager Alex Beaumont, to not only make it possible but to provide such a detailed day with various guest speakers. The driving point behind this was Skipton’s sponsored player initiative where we linked with local businesses to sponsor a player and give a junior the opportunity to access and play tennis including providing all the equipment they would need.

“Ten junior players across Craven have played tennis in this scheme during 2019. The trip was about linking this scheme with the LTA and this aligns perfectly with their objective of making tennis more relevant and accessible to as many people as possible.

“All 13 juniors got the unique experience of being scheduled one hour’s court time to play on the very courts the LTA’s performance players train on.”

The day also saw guest speakers present on law , disability tennis, coach education and how the LTA promotes the sport.

Mr Cox added: “The day was a team effort between Skipton Tennis Centre and the LTA. It certainly opened up the eyes and minds of juniors across Craven to what careers are available in the sporting industry.”