Jamie Murray says his mum was key to his and brother Andy's tennis success, backing new research showing parents' influence on their children's relationship with sport
Judy Murray's love for tennis was instrumental in her sons taking up the game and turning it into a successful career, according to her oldest son Jamie. The tennis star and brother of world number two Andy Murray was speaking at the launch of new research by health and wellness provider Benenden which shows the decisive role parents play in the sports their children play - and the teams they chose to support.
Three in four parents said that they would be more inclined to encourage their child to play a sport that they were either passionate about or had played themselves, while just under half of British men (46%) said they influenced their children into supporting the same team as them.
The research also reveals that parents aged 25 - 34 are the most likely to push their child to follow the same club as them, with 65% of parents in that age bracket agreeing that they play a part in swaying their child's mind.
"It's a lot easier for parents to nudge their kids in the direction of the sports or interests they have a passion for", Jamie explained.
Interestingly, just 1 in 10 parents encourage their children to win - a possible reason Brits fail on the big sporting stage.
Belfast has the most competitive parents in the UK, while Newcastle is home to the most parents who urge their children to support the same team as them.
1 in 4 parents said their choice of child's sporting activity was either a result of affordability or that they had easy access to play that sport due to location and surroundings.
The study was unveiled at a Benenden Tennis Festivals event, where Jamie also emphasised the importance of families playing sport together for kids' wellbeing.
Jamie said: "They created that (Benenden Tennis Festivals) with the aim of families interacting together in a sporting environment. It gives people the opportunity to come down, play tennis, try tennis - and do it with your mum and dad, or your kids."
The Benenden Tennis Festivals, organised in partnership with the Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) are local, informal competitions. 470 LTA-affiliated venues across the UK have signed up to run a tennis festival around the Grass Court Season, with an estimated 8,000 participants taking part across the country.