Judy Murray Coaches Youngsters

Andy Murray's mum Judy's been training three and four-year-olds who used to use St Albans' Batchwood tennis centre, which was destroyed in an arson attack.

Judy (pictured on the left with Andy's girlfriend Kim Sears at Wimbledon) has been at sessions in London Colney and Harpenden, where tennis sessions that would have been held at Batchwood are now taking place.

Efforts are now underway to build a replacement Batchwood centre, but planning rules mean it will be well into 2012 before building work can begin.

Judy has been telling Heart it's essential a new centre is built quickly because the temporary replacement facilities aren't the same.

"A lot of the places they're operating on don't have floodlights, they don't have any cover, the winter is coming and that's when it's going to be a real challenge for them to keep everything going and keep all the kids and adults motivated and stimulated when the weather gets really bad," she said.

"Batchwood was the first pay and play indoor tennis centre in Britain and of course it's open to everybody.  It's totally inclusive and there's a real community spirit about the place so I really hope they can get it built as soon as is feasible."

Mandy Franks, who set up the tennis programme at Batchwood Golf and Tennis Centre 23 years ago said: "We welcome Judy’s support towards the growth and awareness of tennis development in the District."

Mike Wakely from St Albans City and District Council said "It's great that Judy Murray is giving up her time to support tennis in the District by coming along to our facilities at Harpenden and London Colney and passing on tips to children attending the tennis sessions. As a Council, we are doing everything we can to progress our plans to rebuild Batchwood Golf and Tennis Centre and the bowls and golf clubhouses which were both destroyed in the fire.

"In the meantime, please support the golf, tennis, bowls and other sports clubs who used the facilities at Batchwood to ensure they continue to form part of the local sporting community."

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