Sir Richard Branson Visits Chiswick With Laura Robson

Announces the tennis star as ambassador for Junior Tennis Academy


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Tennis star Laura Robson has been announced as the UK ambassador for Virgin Active’s Junior Tennis Academy which aims to boost participation levels in the sport amongst under 16’s. 

Sir Richard Branson visited Virgin's Riverside to announce the move as figures reveal that over 80% of teenage girls are not doing the recommended amount of physical activity. Laura is currently the No 2 ranked female player in Britain and won a silver medal playing in the mixed doubles with Andy Murray in the 2012 London Olympics.


Laura hopes to motivate and inspire a new generation of tennis stars, especially teenage girls who are known to drop out of sport at an earlier age, by taking on an ambassadorial role for the initiative which is open to all members aged 3-16. The latest figures reveal;

  • 88% of 14 year-old girls aren’t doing the recommended amount of physical activity
  • 23% of women say PE classes at school put them off sporting activity for life
  • Sport England figures show there was a near 25% drop in adults playing tennis in 2012 compared to 2008
  • Launched  in 2012 Virgin Active is investing heavily into its racquets programme following the acquisition of new sites in 2012, including over £1.5m on 81 new court surfaces and facilities
  • The pilot programmes have shown an average increase  175% in participation
  • There are currently over 4,000 members of the academies including 200 who receive sponsorship to train in the clubs


February 28, 2013

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