Liverpool has officially smashed the world record for the largest ever tennis lesson according to the Guinness Book of Records – beating the marker set by Andy Murray’s mum Judy in March
The Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament organisers invited local schools to take part in the record attempt on June 18, the day before the tournament, which featured former Wimbledon champion Marion Bartoli, began.
Guided by coaches, including Merseyside’s own Wimbledon legend Barry Cowan, 680 children took part in the session. It meant Liverpool comfortably beat Murray’s Guinness World Record of 406 children taking part in a lesson at Flushing Meadows in the US. The record has now been independently verified by Guinness World Records and although it was hard work, Cowan said the verification of the record made it all worthwhile.
“It was a fantastic day and all the children were great,” said Cowan. “It is not easy to conduct such a large session and to organise it has added to the challenge, but I am so proud that I have been able to set a World Record in my home city, at my home tournament and that so many local young people have been able to share in that.” Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson led the plaudits following the announcement the record would stand.
“Congratulations to everyone who took part in this record-breaking tennis coaching lesson,” he said. “They should rightly be proud of themselves for making history. One of the great aspects of the Liverpool International Tennis Tournament is the way in which it is inspiring the next generation of tennis players and encouraging young people to take up the sport.”
Ian McKenna, Director of Development at Liverpool Hope University said: “Breaking a world record is a fantastic achievement, and I am sure that sense of accomplishment will stay with all of the young people involved for a long time. I hope that their experience as record breakers will help them develop a lifelong love of sport as fun, as part of a healthy lifestyle or even a career.” Liverpool Hope University International Tennis Tournament’s Anders Borg said that he was immensely proud to bring the record to the city.
“We have been running the tournament in Liverpool since 2002,” he said. “Throughout that time we have worked hard to introduce young people to the sport as an alternative to football.
“To have so many schools get involved with this effort and succeed in bringing the record to the city of Liverpool is a fantastic achievement and every pupil who took part should be proud that they have made history. “Hopefully this will inspire them to go out to tennis clubs, playing fields and open spaces all over the city playing tennis and who knows, the next big British talent may well be right here in Liverpool.”