Lawn Tennis Association secures five-year association with Barclays

The LTA and Barclays are committed to removing obstacles in sports and introducing grassroots tennis to local communities.

The governing body of tennis in the United Kingdom (UK), the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has developed a five-year association with the global banking giant, Barclays.

The alliance seeks to increase the number of individuals who regularly play tennis by 150,000, contributing to LTA’s continuous goal of 500,000 additional tennis players in British parks.

The LTA and Barclays are committed to removing obstacles in sports and introducing grassroots tennis to local communities. By offering tennis equipment and teaching, LTA hopes to provide a friendly and easily accessible environment for individuals of all ages, skills, and backgrounds to play tennis in their local parks.

By the end of 2024, free one-hour volunteer-led tennis sessions will be offered in 100 public parks throughout England, Scotland, and Wales. This will enable citizens to take advantage of tennis for health benefits, meet new people, or just try out a new sport this summer. The sessions will take place on Saturdays or Sundays.

The lessons will be led by LTA-trained volunteers (Barclays Activators) from the local community, with all the tennis gear provided. At present, 175 volunteers have undergone training for the position, and recruiting for additional Barclays Activators is also in progress.

Clare Balding CBE, Barclays Ambassador, is encouraging people to get involved and discover, or reconnect with, their passion for tennis. He said, “As a Barclays ambassador I have seen first-hand the hugely positive impact their grassroot football programmes have made to local communities. As soon as I saw their work in action, I knew I had to be part of helping launch and roll out their new tennis initiative to get 150,000 more people playing a game that really is for everyone. Whether you’ve never held a racket before, you used to play, or you’d love to get your children playing, Barclays Free Park tennis is for you. I can’t wait to see even more people discover and love tennis like I do.”

Tom Corbett, Barclays Head of Sponsorship, commented, “Sport enriches lives and communities like nothing else. It brings people together and has the power to boost confidence and wellbeing and build life skills for participants. We’ve seen this impact through our grassroot football programmes, and I’m delighted we are now bringing our experience to the world of grassroots tennis through our new partnership with the LTA. Whether your goal is getting fit, getting closer to your community, or picking up a new sport – it’s going to be fun, free and open to all.”

Scott Lloyd, CEO of LTA, said, “We want tennis to be welcoming, enjoyable and inspiring to everyone. This means taking tennis into as many communities across Britain as possible. Barclays Free Parks Tennis will be like a ‘Park Run’ for tennis, with free equipment, court space and instruction for players of all ages. We’re also excited to be partnering with Barclays on Big Tennis Weekends and Local Tennis Leagues to grow participation even further.”

Barclays Free Park Tennis builds on the LTA’s recent £30 million UK Government and LTA Tennis Foundation commitment, which is reviving hundreds of existing park tennis courts in poor or unplayable condition, with a special emphasis on low-income communities. This investment has already resulted in substantial progress towards providing half a million extra tennis players in parks throughout the UK.

Barclays will additionally play the lead role in Barclays Local Tennis Leagues, which are competitive but friendly mixed singles and doubles tennis leagues held in parks. 

Recently, LTA also developed a multi-year partnership with Lexus. As part of this agreement, LTA has given the automaker firm naming rights to all LTA performance zones, as well as all professional player pathway levels, including junior domestic competitions, LTA major events, and elite national teams.

Additionally, the business has also been named the official automobile and performance partner of the British tennis organisation.

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