I believe we can give children a better life by encouraging them to take up sport

    I believe we can give children a better life by encouraging them to take up sport

    Stay forever fit with ultimate tennis mum Judy Murray

    18 February 2016

    As the mother and the initial coach of tennis champions Andy and Jamie Murray, Judy is now taking a Tennis on the Road initiative to schools and has devised a programme called Miss-Hits to involve more young girls in sport.

    ‘I am passionate about the value of exercise, particularly for children,’ she says. ‘There is an upsurge in child obesity. I believe we can combat this and give children a better life by encouraging them to take up sport, or even just a form of exercise.

    ‘There is a misconception about my motivation at times. I am not trying to produce tennis champions on these programmes. I simply want kids to enjoy sport and maybe that will stay with them through life. A healthy kid has much more chance of becoming a healthy adult. Most importantly, it should be fun.

    ‘I believe it is also important to produce good coaches, the type of people who can inspire young kids to keep coming back.’


    1. You can exercise anywhere. I spend a lot of time on the road so I can’t commit, say, 40 minutes to working out at the gym every day. I have to take my exercise where I can get it. If I am at home, I will stand on my tiptoes to stretch my calves while I am stirring a pot. When I am on the road, I will pack my skipping ropes. These don’t take up much room and can be used in hotel rooms or wherever. Skipping is high-intensity training. I love it.
    2. Set yourself targets. If you are in the house and doing exercises, you can say to yourself: ‘I am going to stand on one leg for five minutes.’ It is harder than it sounds and produces results. Or you can decide to go for a brisk walk for an hour. You will be surprised at how much farther you can go in that hour after a few days.
    3. Make it fun for kids. Play actively with your children. This does not need expensive equipment. Try to make up games that involve co-ordination and exercise and which can be played indoors on rainy days. You can use cushions, soft balls or whatever else takes your fancy to engage the kids. You will be surprised at how much you enjoy it.