OVER the next two weeks, tennis will find its way into the mainstream consciousness with Wimbledon.

Although played for 11 months of the year, even in this country, it isn’t until the action at the All England Club gets under way that the majority take interest.

Most have a passing interest in Andy Murray’s progress throughout the year but suddenly become armchair experts during the fortnight at SW19.

How many of us celebrated the Scot’s famous victory last year and then almost as quickly forgot about it?

It will be no different this time and it’s largely down to the perennial underachievement of the British players in their own Grand Slam, or any other come to that.

Murray aside, our record is dismal and it doesn’t look like improving any time soon.

This is where the Great British Tennis Weekend, which runs for the next two Saturdays and Sundays at clubs across the county, comes into play.

It is an initiative launched by the Lawn Tennis Association for clubs to encourage more people to take up the sport by opening their courts for taster sessions.

While it is all well and good to point to the success of Murray, and the inspiration that may bring, clubs and the LTA have a duty to play their part.

It is also important to remember, however, that producing top class players is not the be all and end all.

It would be nice but keeping players in the sport and giving them the opportunity to reach their potential, whether that just be in a social setting to keep fit, is just as crucial.

Sport is not just about the elite, it is there for everybody.

The Great British Tennis Weekend is not just for youngsters, it is aimed at all ages and abilities with plenty of activities available.

Wimbledon will put tennis in the spotlight and hopefully it will encourage a few more of us to pick up a racket.