Tennis slammed as participation falls despite Wimbledon factor

Frank Dalleres
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FOOTBALL and tennis chiefs have been warned their funding could be cut after both suffered drops in levels of participation.

A Sport England survey found football had lost the most participants since April and is now only the fourth most played sport in the country, with 1.84m playing at least 30 minutes a week. Despite Briton Andy Murray’s Wimbledon triumph in July, tennis has shed more than 17,000 participants to just 406,000.

“We are very disappointed by football’s results and the Football Association really need to grasp this,” said Sport England chief executive Jenni Price.

Sport England director of sport Phil Smith added: “I think we’ve dispelled the myth that a British guy winning Wimbledon would increase participation figures.”

Cycling has seen the biggest increase, from 1.86m to 2.00m people, not including those who only cycle for transport purposes.

The number of 16-25-year-olds doing at least 30 minutes’ sport per week has dropped by 78,000 since April, despite the London 2012 Olympics being supposed to “inspire a generation”.