BOSSES at the UK’s leading tennis organisation are serving up an innovative programme of support for people in East Renfrewshire who are keen to pick up a racquet.

The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has listed Cowan Park, in Barrhead, as a target in a nationwide move to boost the sport and get more people playing.

The package gives a cost-free offer to local authorities to improve people’s health and wellbeing through the sport and ensure tennis venues are sustainable for the future.

Cowan Park’s tennis courts are popular with both beginners and experienced players throughout the season.

The LTA is offering free technology to improve accessibility and the player experience; competitions and programmed activity to drive regular play; and interest-free, quick-access loans for improvements to facilities.

Central to the plans is the development of LTA Rally – a new digital platform to help people search for tennis activities in their area and make it easier for them to book a court.

The platform was launched this year, with more than 300 venues around the country already taking bookings through the site.

The LTA offer has been welcomed by East Renfrewshire MP Kirsten Oswald, who said it comes at a time when councils are facing significant financial challenges.

She added: “I welcome the work the LTA is doing to help drive participation in tennis in park venues and to help local authorities ensure their facilities are financially sustainable.

“Tennis is a brilliant sport for the whole family to enjoy and can be done easily with social distancing, so I encourage everyone to pick up their racquets and book a court.

“I am particularly pleased to hear that the LTA is prepared to back improvements to the tennis offer in Cowan Park when it reopens and I look forward to them rolling out support to other facilities if funding can be found.”