Judy Murray Praises New Ayrshire Tennis Courts

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Judy Murray Praises New Ayrshire Tennis Courts
Judy Murray Praises New Ayrshire Tennis Courts © Duncan McGlynn/GettyImges

Legendary tennis coach, Judy Murray, mother to Grand Slam champions Andy and Jamie Murray, officially inaugurated Irvine's renovated tennis courts in a splendid ceremony on Monday. The Thornhouse Avenue facility played host to around 100 onlookers, all eager to catch a glimpse of the star-studded inauguration.

The Irvine tennis court transformation signifies the culmination of efforts by the Irvine Tennis Community. Just a year ago, the local group took the reins of the facility from North Ayrshire in a community asset transfer.

A collaborative effort by Irvine Locality Partnership (ILP) and Irvine Tennis Community (ITC) successfully garnered £100,000 in community investment funding from North Ayrshire Council the previous summer.

Judy Celebrates Court Transformation

Reminiscing her previous visit, Judy remarked, “The courts once had worn-out red blaes and disarrayed lines.

Observing the transformation is truly heartwarming, and I applaud everyone involved. I've always believed in the transformative power of sport." She emphasized the community's relentless effort, especially highlighting Chris McKenna's pivotal role.

She added, “The community turnout indicates not just a demand but a profound sense of pride in the accomplishments. And with the upcoming pavilion, we’re not just focusing on tennis; there are also provisions for pickleball, which can double as mini tennis courts”.

Post the ceremony, the day saw Judy engage in a friendly pickleball match with local enthusiasts and partake in a discussion and book signing for her recent tennis novel, "The Wild Card." Chris McKenna, chairman of Irvine Tennis Community, while expressing gratitude for Judy's presence, shared his vision for the facility.

He stated, “We aim to provide free coaching for children and adults as a charitable endeavor. While nurturing a Wimbledon champion would be a dream, our primary goal remains to foster a love for tennis." NAC depute leader, Shaun Macaulay, expressed his admiration for Chris and his team’s perseverance.

While Council leader Marie Burns highlighted the council’s focus on health and well-being, she noted, “Post-pandemic, the significance of community-driven initiatives like this is even more apparent." The youngest attendee, Baby Brody McPherson, accompanied by father Sam and grandmother Tracey Allan, symbolized the community's hope for the future.

Sam, a previous player at the courts, shared his aspirations for his son to follow in his footsteps, adding a note of optimism to the event's essence.