In January the LTA announced a new 10 year Performance Strategy focusing on creating a seamless pathway for champions that nurtures people, teams and leaders. Part of the Player Pathway introduces National Academies which aims to create competition for places at the next stage of the pathway - the Pro Scholarship Programme (PSP).
National Academies are designed to create a pro-style training environment, ordinarily supporting players between 14-18 years of age, although some players may join from the age of 11 in exceptional circumstances. Player selection for the National Academy will be restricted to the brightest talent from across Britain, normally with a total of 16 players selected for each National Academy, against transparent and clearly defined, evidence based criteria. More information about the Pathway is available here.
Tennis Scotland in partnership with the University of Stirling, sportscotland Institute of Sport, and Beaconhurst School submitted an application to the LTA for a National Academy. The LTA shortlisted for interview five National Academy applications from leading tennis centres in Britain:
- Loughborough University Tennis Centre (Leicestershire)
- Team Bath Tennis (Somerset)
- Tennis Scotland (University of Stirling)
- Culford Sports & Tennis Centre (Suffolk)
- Living Tennis at Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, (Berkshire)
The highly competitive process involves the LTA scrutinising each centre’s plans for establishing a National Academy, and creating a step change in the way the very highest potential junior players in the country are developed toward taking successful first steps on the Pro Tour. Successful applicants are set to be announced in mid-June.
The Scottish National Academy application is captured in this short promotional video.