Andy Murray’s mother tells parents: Get on the ball

Starting out young: Judy Murray shows four-year-old Lyla Barker basic sport skills
Starting out young: Judy Murray shows four-year-old Lyla Barker basic sport skills

The mother of Britain’s number one tennis player visited Halifax to encourage parents to play more sport with their children.

Judy Murray, whose son Andy is preparing to try to win his first Grand Slam title in the US Open next month, was at Eureka as part of a new skills scheme, Set4Sport.

The campaign aims to encourage parents to get active with their kids by setting up simple but effective games in the garden.

The games are cheap and easy to create and can be made using common household items.

She is currently touring the country with workers from the Set4Sport team, which is funded by Royal Bank of Scotland.

Judy told the Courier she started playing sport with sons Andy and Jamie, a world top 50 doubles himself, from a young age.

“I’m quite a sporty mum and we used to play games a lot at home,” she said.

“It’s important parents interact with the children for it to make a difference.

“We were in South Shields last week and a grandmother told me she couldn’t get her grandchildren away from the Playstation – yet they spent the full four hours playing games with us, just because we engaged with them. To try and beat your parent makes the game much more fun for the children, but it’s not about competition really, and it’s not all about tennis either.

“It’s about all sport and making sure that from a young age children have the basic skills in throwing, catching, balance and co-ordination they will need if they decide to take up a sport later in their career.

“Parents shouldn’t just leave this up to schools. They can do their bit.”

Judy added that Halifax was lucky to have a venue like Eureka.

“I’ve been in and can’t believe how good it is,” she said.

“There is so much in there which engages children and it’s fantastic there is something like this in Halifax.”

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