Leader: ‘More facilities will nurture new talent’

EDINBURGH does not have an impressive track record when it comes to developing new sporting facilities.

The attempts to turn Meadowbank Stadium into a centre of excellence have faltered and moves to find a proper home for Edinburgh Rugby have struggled to get off the ground despite the best intentions of many in the sport.

However, some small slices of good news have arrived in recent days for tennis. Firstly, new courts are to be constructed on Leith Links at a cost of £100,000 to encourage the next generation of Andy Murrays to take up the game.

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And now Edinburgh City Council has given the go ahead for floodlights and a revamp of changing facilities at the long-established tennis facilities in the Meadows, where there are 14 courts.

The floodlights will enable longer playing times and the changing rooms will encourage more people to use their lunch breaks to fit in a few games.

Will this lead to another top ten player for Scotland? Probably not, but it sends another signal that Edinburgh is a city that wants it people to play sport, to run around and enjoy the fresh air.

Scotland is currently enjoying greater success through Andy Murray than we enjoy in golf – yet the city is littered with golf courses, good, bad and indifferent.

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If these clubs can find a way to survive then surely we can support a few more tennis courts in our public parks.

Tennis remains a sport where it is difficult for young people to play without joining a club, and more public facilities such as the Meadows will help nurture new talent and interest.

He may not have won Wimbledon (yet). But Andy Murray is still inspiring a new generation of talent in Scotland’s capital.

Blow to morale

THE £250,000 of damage to the new toilet block at Linkfield car park in Dunbar is a massive set back to local residents and those who enjoy John Muir Country Park. While there is a huge financial loss, that can be overcome.

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What will take longer to rebuild is the morale of local people who have campaigned and lobbied for new facilities – only to find them destroyed in an apparent fireraising attack.

It is little wonder that local councillor Paul McLennan has said that people are “disgusted” by what has happened.