LONDON, Oct. 3 (Xinhua) — The British government has announced a 40.7 million U.S. dollar package to refurbish 4,500 public tennis courts in deprived areas following the success of 18-year-old Emma Raducanu.
Raducanu, winner of the U.S. Open women’s singles last month, became the first British woman to win a Grand Slam singles title since Virginia Wade in 1977, with the final watched by millions of television viewers in Britain.
The 18-year-old was also applauded by Chinese netizens impressed by her multicultural background and pride in her half-Chinese background.
Also in this year’s U.S. Open, Gordon Reid and Alfie Hewett became the first all-British pairing to complete the Grand Slam by winning the men’s wheelchair doubles final, and Joe Salisbury delivered “double doubles” wins in both the men’s and mixed events.
The British government has allocated 30 million U.S. dollars and the Lawn Tennis Association, organisers of the annual Wimbledon event, 10.7 million U.S. dollars to pay for the refurbishment of public tennis courts.
The aim is to support a new generation of players to take up the sport in the most deprived areas of the country. Hundreds of the targeted tennis courts are in poor or unplayable conditions.
“It is designed to open up the sport to people of all backgrounds, support the government’s commitment to leveling up sports provision across the nation, and provide greater opportunities for everyone to follow the Chief Medical Officer’s guidance on physical activity. The guidance makes clear that children should aim to carry out 60 minutes of physical activity a day, and adults 2.5 hours a week,” read a media release by UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport on Sunday.