School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences


12 Jun 2018

Loughborough University secures landmark deal with the Lawn Tennis Association

Loughborough University is delighted to unveil that it has finalised a deal with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) to become one of two National Academies being created by the organisation.

This multi-million pound deal is the biggest ever single investment in sport at Loughborough, outside of capital build projects, and brings yet another National Governing Body onto campus, joining the likes of British Athletics, British Swimming, British Triathlon and England Netball.

Whilst at the top end this project aims to produce the Andy Murrays of the future, the impact this will have throughout the Loughborough Sport pathway is monumental, with the recruitment of a number of new members of staff bolstering the opportunity for our students to have a truly life shaping tennis experience, whether this be through competitive or recreational tennis, coaching, volunteering or other support services.

As part of the project, which will open its doors to its first cohort of players in September 2019, the LTA is expecting Loughborough University to set new, world-class standards for the holistic development of high-potential British players in a transformative, full-time, residential, training environment. This will not only benefit the future of tennis in Britain, but the sporting offer across the board here at Loughborough University, both directly and indirectly.

Loughborough University’s Executive Director of Sport, John Steele, commented:

“We are absolutely delighted to have been chosen by the LTA to host one of two National Academies at Loughborough University. From a list of 32 potential partners we are proud to have been the only University to have been selected. This is an extremely exciting opportunity, not only to create a world class player development pathway for the best players in the UK, but also to improve the quality of environment and opportunity for our students and staff.”

“This is an unprecedented level of investment in a sports programme by a national governing body here at Loughborough and will further add to our reputation and profile as a world leading sports environment.”

Loughborough’s Director of Tennis, Helen Reesby, added:

“It’s hard to appreciate the significance of this partnership for tennis at Loughborough University and we are immensely proud to be partnering with the LTA to deliver one of only two National Academies in Great Britain. As part of the National Academy we will be recruiting world class coaches and practitioners into the centre to lead, deliver and bring the vision to life, and we look forward to welcoming them, and of course the players, to Loughborough.”

LTA National Academies

Tennis Scotland at Stirling and Loughborough University have been named as the UK’s first two National Academies for tennis, a major milestone in the development of the Lawn Tennis Association’s ten-year Performance Strategy for British Tennis. The National Academies will play a crucial role in the implementation of a new seamless player pathway, which sits at the heart of the new Performance Strategy, led by Performance Director Simon Timson, and aims to make Britain one of the most respected nations in the world for tennis player development.

The new player pathway provides a clear route from beginners mini-red tennis right through to major tournament success, supporting high potential junior players from the age of seven, playing the sport locally, into the top 100. It’s specifically designed to enable the best British players to regularly train and compete with one another at every stage of their development.

The pathway starts with affordable, high-quality local training for the youngest children and ends with a Pro-Scholarship Programme for only for those players with greatest potential selected between the ages of 16 to 24 who are capable of reaching the world’s top 100 and beyond. In between, players will pass through first a Regional Player Development Centre and then a National Academy.

The National Academies – due to open in September 2019 – Loughborough University and Tennis Scotland will set new, world-class standards for the holistic development of high-potential British players in transformative, full-time, residential, training environments. These programmes will nurture 14 to 18-year-olds (and sometimes younger) as people, players and performers. Players who demonstrate the greatest future potential in the sport will be selected and supported with world-class coaching, science, medicine, and welfare expertise, whilst also being provided an excellent mainstream education up to at least GCSE-level.