COMMUNITY leaders are hoping to inspire the next generation of young tennis players by ploughing cash into the sport.
Highfield councillors Lily Henderson and Chris Maughan are putting £11,540 from their ward budget into resurfacing tennis courts at Highfield Road Park in South Shore.
Some of the grant will also be used to fund tennis lessons for children who otherwise could not afford to play the game.
Tennis fan Coun Henderson says she was saddened to see the courts had fallen into a state of disrepair.
She said: “I love tennis and I think Britian’s top player Andy Murray is brilliant.
“And I think it’s a sport which we should make sure our young people get chance to play. Tennis is sadly neglected in this country and these courts had fallen into a state of disrepair.
“They badly needed resurfacing.
“Not everyone can afford for their children to learn to play tennis, and so some of the money will also go towards bringing in a coach to give some lessons.
“I love tennis, football and cricket and I want to make sure young people get an opportunity at all these sports.”
There are two tarmac tennis courts in the park, which each have fixed metal netting.
The park also boasts a multi-use games area for other sports.
Gary Pennington, of the Friends of Highfield Road Park, said the group was delighted to hear about the new investment in the courts.
He said: “In the summer the courts are well used, and people do enjoy playing tennis there.
“We have organised tennis lessons there before, but we stopped them because the courts were in such a bad condition.
“So we are delighted the councillors have agreed to put this funding in. Any improvements to the park are very welcome.”
The work will include resurfacing the courts with anti-slip tennis court paint, new court markings and fencing.
Andy Murray became the first British man to win a tennis Grand Slam in 76 years when he beat Novak Djokovic in the final of the US Open in September.
He also won a gold medal at the London Olympics.