Roger Draper

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Roger Draper is the former Chief Executive of Sport England from 2003 to 2006, and the Lawn Tennis Association from 2006 to 2013. [1] [2] [3] [4]

In his time at Sport England, Draper had overall accountability for business turnover of £340m, and was involved in London’s 2012 Olympic bid, and the Wembley National Stadium construction project.[citation needed]

As Accounting Officer for Sport England, he had responsibility for reporting to Parliament through the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, and represented the organisation at a wide range of Select Committees, including the Public Accounts Committee hearing on the Wembley National Stadium Project, in 2003.[citation needed]

He also led a major review and reorganisation of the £450m spent on sport in the UK.[citation needed]

This included the completion of the £120m English Institute of Sport network of high performance facilities including new centres at Bath and Loughborough Universities, and a review of corporate governance across a number of sports, including athletics, hockey, rugby league, golf, cricket, boxing, karate and bowls.[citation needed]

Draper joined the LTA in 2006 and published the ‘Blueprint, a Strategy for British Tennis’, which set out his plans to transform the national governing body for British tennis. This included a complete restructure of the organisation, a new commercial strategy and programme, the introduction of Talent ID, and a comprehensive review and rebuild of all the LTA’s major events.[citation needed]

During his time at the LTA, turnover grew by 45% to £65m, and commercial revenues increased by three and a half times, in part the result of a ground-breaking Lead Partner agreement with pensions provider Aegon UK.[5] British Tennis membership grew by 500% and the number of juniors playing competitive tennis sevenfold.[6]

Draper was also responsible for introducing a new mini tennis programme and a nationwide talent ID system for British tennis.[7] During this period, Great Britain won the Junior Davis Cup for the first time, and a number of British juniors won grand slam singles and doubles titles. [8] [9] [10]

In 2013, Andy Murray became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title for 77 years.[11]

Despite a growth in the number of children playing tennis,[12] Draper’s tenure was criticised for failing to increase levels of participation among adults. [13] [14]

The problems of participation came to a head when in December 2012 Sport England announced that £10.3million of the LTA's £17.4million funding total had been put on hold, with Sport England chief executive Jennie Price telling Press Association Sport: "Tennis has not performed well in terms of participation".[15] Sport England subsequently released the funding to the LTA.[citation needed]

After his salary package at the LTA was revealed to be £640,000 in 2012,[16] Draper and the LTA received further criticism, including from Baroness Billingham, the Chair of Parliament's All-Party Tennis Group.

His 7 1/2 year tenure as chief executive of the LTA came to an end in March 2013 when he announced that he would stand down in September 2013[16][17]

Draper opposed the creation of the £40 million National Tennis Centre at Roehampton,[citation needed] and in August 2014, it was reported that the centre was to close, just 7 years after it was opened. [18]

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