Tennis Scotland

Highlighting best practice as a representative in The Parliamentary Review

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Tennis Scotland is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

CEO Blane Dodds has set
his sights on delivering the
Tennis Scotland are continuing to increase participation
opportunities for the younger generation
Tennis Scotland is responsible for governing and growing
the sport on a national level. The organisation ensures
that tennis is developed to allow for continued growth
of the game across all areas – from facilities to clubs and
competitions. Based in Stirling, it works closely with the Lawn
Tennis Association to help encourage people to take up the
sport across the country. CEO Blane Dodds explains more.
I took up my current role with a background in sport and a passion for tennis,
making a move towards a much more ambitious organisation. This change in
direction has been inspired by the success of some of our local players. Scotland
may be a small nation, but we have produced the likes of Andy Murray, Jamie
Murray and Gordon Reid, who became world number one in singles, doubles and
wheelchair tennis respectively.
World class
Our focus on the participation of children in sport, and getting them involved
in tennis in particular, has allowed us to redevelop our priorities of late. We
want young people in Scotland to get involved in the sport, and to give them
opportunities to be the best they can be. In previous generations, children were
told that coming from Scotland precluded them from being world class in tennis,
resulting in a poverty of ambition seen across the country. The success of the
Murrays has proven that it is possible to come from Scotland and be the best.
The power of this change in philosophy cannot be understated. Indeed, the
shattering of this glass ceiling is something we hope to translate across sports
»CEO:Blane Dodds
»Tennis Scotland was
incorporated in 2001
»Based inStirling
»Services:Governing Body for
Tennis in Scotland
»No. of employees: 24
(as of May 2021)
Tennis Scotland
Highlighting best practice
in our country. If two players from
Dunblane can be the very best players
in the world, it stands to reason that
others can too. Clearly there are a
number of factors including facilities,
dedication, coaching and resources,
but there is now a roadmap.
Investing in our future
In the past three years we have more
than doubled our turnover thanks
to support from our partners at the
LTA and sportscotland, as well as our
growing list of commercial partners.
We have in place a capital fund of
£15 million thanks to our partners
who we are working with to develop
a range of new indoor facilities to
increase capacity and more year-round
tennis. This is vital for our ambitions.
Performance tennis has seen another
significant investment following a
tender exercise to host and operate
a GB National Tennis Academy for
the best young players in Great
Britain. This has allowed us to recruit
a word-class team of coaches, who
have worked with the best players in
the world, and to create many new
job opportunities. Overall, if we are
going to deliver on our ambitions then
we need to get the right people in
the right roles to help us deliver our
strategic objectives for the future.
My priority in my current position
is making a difference in the lives
of others. I believe in the power of
“one team, one direction” and if
we all buy into the ambition and
objectives, we will be able to make a
significant change to benefit the sport.
Indeed, early signs are positive with
recent year-on-year growth in club
membership nationally in addition to
other key performance indicators and
the step change in investment.
At Tennis Scotland we are passionate
about recognising the variety of skills
and strengths our people bring to
the organisation, working to turn
good performance into great by
concentrating on what people are
good at. We understand that people
are what they are. If you are an
analytical thinker, you will not wake
up tomorrow as a creative one. In
turn, we appreciate that everyone has
different talents, and that if you start
from this foundation, you will be able
to encourage a positive culture of
growth within an organisation based
on valuing team members. This sense
of purpose and ambition seems to
be working with the growth we have
realised both in terms of results and
resources, and we believe it will serve
us well in the future.
Raising the game
The last piece of our current jigsaw
puzzle is continuing to prove that
we are worth investing in and there
will be continual returns on any
investment in our organisation. On
the back of considerable growth in
recent years, together with world-
class performances on court, we
need to ensure that the advert of
players featuring on the world stage is
converted to action in the form of new
young people coming into our sport
Members of the
GB National Tennis
Academy based at the
University of Stirling
We want
young people
in Scotland to
get involved in
the sport, and
to give them
to be the best
they can be
and benefitting from opportunities to
develop. One of the main priorities in
this area is that of developing more
capacity and year-round tennis from
new indoor facilities. With only one
indoor court per 48,000 population,
Scotland lags behind other tennis-
playing nations. This needs to be a
significant focus if we are to keep
up with other nations and keep the
momentum for growth currently
Having met with First Minster Nicola
Sturgeon, I was impressed by how
well briefed and supportive she was of
our ambitions and plans. She helped
greatly in communicating to partners
how important a Murray legacy would
be for Scotland and Britain. This helped
to realise a more aligned approach
across our partnerships, which in turn
will help to ensure that the legacy of
tennis in Scotland continues.
Challenges beyond sport
Like many industries, many of our
plans have been put on hold or
delayed because of the Covid-19
pandemic. Back in March 2020, we
launched nine new indoor tennis
centre projects and signed the new
LTA funding agreement. However,
lockdown meant that these projects
had to be put on hold and we are now
in a position where we are getting
these back on track. Some will take
longer than others because of the
financial impact of Covid-19 on our
partners, but we have developed
contingency plans in each instance and
are hopeful that at least three new
indoor centres can get the go-ahead
In terms of managing the impact of
the pandemic on the sport as a whole,
we have worked very closely with the
LTA in London to deliver guidelines
that were relevant for Scotland and
to assist the LTA with their detailed
support packages throughout 2020.
While it is challenging to cater for
everyone and every facility affected
in our sector, it is pleasing to note
that the tennis community delivered
significant growth in participation and
club membership throughout 2020.
A game for the future
We want to see more people playing
across clubs and pay-as-you-go
facilities. We want to see more quality
facilities and world-class workforce
development and coaching. We
want to see a year-round sport in our
communities with tennis a major or
leading player in terms of community
access to facilities. We want to see
more Scottish players succeeding at
the top of the game in juniors and
on the ATP and WTA tours. We want
an ambitious, confident organisation
working with all to create growth and
investment to ensure a sustainable and
healthy future for Scottish tennis.
The tennis
growth in
and club
Moray Sports Centre
which will benefit from
the Transforming Scottish
Indoor Tennisfund

This article was sponsored by Tennis Scotland. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it.

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

This year’s Parliamentary Review reflects on a tumultuous and extraordinary year, globally and nationally. As well as being an MP, I am a keen student of history, and I am conscious that 2020 would mark the end of an era. It will be remembered as the year in which we concluded Brexit negotiations and finally left the European Union. Above all, it will be remembered as the year of Covid-19.

In our fight against the pandemic, I am delighted that our vaccination programme is beginning to turn the tide – and I pay tribute to the British businesses, scientists and all those who have helped us to achieve this. But the virus has dealt enormous damage, and we now have a duty to rebuild our economy.

We must ensure that businesses are protected. We have made more than £350 billion available to that end, with grants, business rates relief and our furlough scheme supporting more than 11 million people and jobs in every corner of the country, maintaining livelihoods while easing the pressure on employers. The next step is to work with business to build back better and greener, putting the net zero carbon challenge at the heart of our recovery. This is a complex undertaking, but one which I hope will be recognised as a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Through the prime minister’s ten point plan for a green industrial revolution, we can level up every region of the UK, supporting 250,000 green jobs while we accelerate our progress towards net zero carbon emissions.

With our commitment to raise R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP and the creation of the Advanced Research & Invention Agency, we are empowering our fantastic researchers to take on groundbreaking research, delivering funding with flexibility and speed. With this approach, innovators will be able to work with our traditional industrial heartlands to explore new technologies, and design and manufacture the products on which the future will be built – ready for export around the globe.

And I believe trade will flourish. We are a leading nation in the fight against climate change. As the host of COP26 this year, we have an incredible opportunity to market our low-carbon products and expertise. Our departure from the EU gives us the chance to be a champion of truly global free trade; we have already signed trade deals with more than 60 countries around the world.

As we turn the page and leave 2020 behind, I am excited about the new chapter which Britain is now writing for itself, and for the opportunities which lie ahead of us.
Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng
Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy