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.

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.

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

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.

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.

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.[citation needed]

Draper was also responsible for introducing a new mini tennis programme and a nationwide talent ID system for British tennis.[6] 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. [7] [8] [9]

In 2013, Andy Murray became the first British man to win the Wimbledon singles title for 77 years.[10]


Despite a growth in the number of children playing tennis,[citation needed] Draper’s tenure was criticised for failing to increase levels of participation among adults. [11] [12]

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".[13]

After his salary package at the LTA was revealed to be £640,000 in 2012,[14] Draper and the LTA received further criticism, including from Baroness Billingham, the Chair of Parliament's All-Party Tennis Group [15] who stated that "Draper has been grossly overpaid and yet British tennis is going nowhere".[14]

His 7 1/2 year tenure as chief executive of the LTA came to an end in March 2013 when it was announced that he would stand down iin September 2013[14][16]

His time at the helm of the LTA was always controversial and received much criticism in the press: [14] former British player, Mark Petchey told Sky Sports that Draper was "nowhere near the targets set", while Andrew Castle thought it was "tragic... that so much talented has been wasted over the years."[11]

In August 2014, it was announced that his £40 million National Tennis Centre at Roehampton was to close, just 7 years after it was opened. [17]