The UK’s leading tennis charity, The Tennis Foundation, is to be integrated into the sport’s national governing body in a move which aims to create "greater scale and greater impact".
Previously the charity – which leads on programmes for schools, diverse communities and disability tennis – has operated separately from the Lawn Tennis Association but it will now help to lead mainstream activities to open up the sport to more diverse groups.
Joanna Farquharson, Interim Executive Director of the Tennis Foundation, said: “We are tremendously proud of the achievements of the Tennis Foundation and the impact we have had on the lives of our beneficiaries. The new exciting vision for tennis in Britain now presents a fantastic opportunity for our sport as a whole to make it one that is truly for anyone.
“We are only in a position to be able to take advantage of the opportunity integration presents because of the groundbreaking work that has been done over the past 30 years. Among the many highlights are the outstanding success of Great Britain’s disability tennis players on the international stage, supporting over 20,000 schools to deliver tennis to young people and establishing the SERVES programme to take the sport to new people and new places.
“I’d like to thank the many partner organisations and individuals who have helped the Tennis Foundation achieve what we have done, creating a legacy that the LTA can take forward and build on as part of a bright future for our sport.”
Scott Lloyd, Chief Executive of the LTA, said: “Our new vision aligns very closely with the Tennis Foundation’s great work and by integrating we hope we can take it to the next level, with greater scale and greater impact. This is an incredibly exciting opportunity for inclusivity across our sport and I want to welcome the Tennis Foundation team to the LTA.”
The decision was unanimously agreed by the Boards of both organisations and the process will be completed by the end of 2018, with a view to being fully operational from the start of 2019.