Almost three months since she stepped down as Great Britain’s Fed Cup captain, Judy Murray’s quest to find the British tennis stars of tomorrow is gaining momentum and women in Surrey and south west London are playing their part.

During her five years in charge, Murray set out a 10-year plan with the belief that the game must attract more female players in order to achieve her targets – and the mum of Great Britain number one Andy Murray was at Surbiton to promote her dreams.

After 18 months of planning, Murray’s “Miss-Hits” programme was designed to get more girls aged five to eight years old playing the sport.

Its emphasis is on helping them discover and develop tennis skills in a fun and friendly environment.

Murray spent time last week at Surbiton Girls School, where the coaches learned how to deliver “Miss-Hits” taster sessions to 24 young students.

She then hosted a lunch at the Aegon Surbiton Trophy to discuss the challenges and opportunities around getting more girls playing tennis.

She said: “I started to look at the entry levels to the game and I discovered that girls were being outnumbered by four to one by boys.

“If you think about it, little girls spend, usually, most of their formative years with their mum.

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Getting involved: The pupils at Surbiton Girls School

“Their first teachers at school are usually female also, so suddenly if their first attempt at a sport or hobby is delivered by a man that can sometimes be an off-putter.”

She added: “Tennis is a difficult sport so we created a programme using lots of slow-moving, brightly-coloured equipment.

“The girls engage with tennis through six animated characters who each represent a tennis stroke [including Faith Forehand, Bella Backhand and Valentina Volley].

“It is supported by its own website and app so they’re keeping in touch with tennis in what is a very contemporary programme.”

The programme does not require the teacher to be a qualified tennis coach.

Murray’s informal, non-competitive approach is delivered by an enthusiastic, female-only work force with an aptitude for working with children.

“We’ve trained up to 300 female coaches over the last 18 months and 85 per cent of them are delivering the programme,” Murray said.

“We’re about to establish an activators’ course so certain elements of Miss-Hits can be delivered by mums, female teachers, students or teenage girls because we have to grow the workforce.”

Designed as a feeder to the LTA’s Mini Tennis programme, Miss-Hits aims to appeal to young girls by creating a social environment that nurtures friendship over competition.

By creating social groups, Murray hopes it will encourage girls to progress further in tennis with better co-ordination skills and an understanding of all the shots.

All of which underpins Murray’s belief that learning how to hit the ball, rather than play the game, are two very different things.

Miss-Hits was piloted in four cities before its national roll-out and Murray has already set about the task of making a global impact.

Inevitably, there are those who argue Britain is not in a position to impose its initiatives on the rest of the world.

The Czech Republic, for example, is a country of just 10.5m people that has won four of the past five Fed Cups, and currently has four women in the top 30 in the world rankings.

“I presented Miss-Hits at a conference in Australia earlier this year and a number of the foreign delegates from governing bodies in other countries approached me afterwards and said they had never seen anything like it before,” Murray said.

“Everybody has the same problem - they aren’t getting enough girls into tennis because every country is competing with so many other things for little girls’ attentions.

“We as a sport have to work harder and this is why we started to put together the online course so that people overseas can learn it.

“As far as I know, we are the only governing body in tennis to have a girl-only programme.”

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