International tennis player and coach Judy Murray OBE will be recognized for her extraordinary contributions to Scottish sports and philanthropy at The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA’s annual fundraising gala on April 20. “We are delighted to announce Judy Murray as the recipient of the 2023 Great Scot Award,” said Helen E.R. Sayles CBE, chair of The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA. “As the National Trust for Scotland looks forward to its centennial in 2031, it is thinking about the stories it has collected and shared over the past century – and considering what stories will be important to collect and share for future generations. Judy Murray’s career and advocacy exemplify the best of contemporary Scottish heritage.”
The mother of Grand Slam champions
“It’s a huge honor for me to receive the Great Scot award from The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA,” Murray said. “I’m so proud of my country’s heritage, its assets, and its people, and I’ve long been a supporter of the National Trust for Scotland, who do such a wonderful job in preserving, showcasing, and sharing Scotland’s national treasures and hidden gems.”
Known by many as the mother of Grand Slam champions Sir Andy Murray and Jamie Murray, Judy Murray was an accomplished competitor in her own right, winning more than 60 national tennis titles before becoming Scottish National Coach in 1995. In 2011, Murray was appointed Captain of the British Federation Cup Team and used this role to grow the profile, numbers, and standard of female players, coaches, and sports scientists across Great Britain. Over the course of her career, Murray has become an advocate for improving opportunities for tennis across Scotland, fostering inclusivity and community engagement. Through the Judy Murray Foundation, she provided equipment and fun, doable workshops for teachers, students, parents, volunteers, and club members to ensure affordable, accessible tennis activity in some of the most deprived areas of Scotland. She also developed a comprehensive online resource for Education Scotland to show teachers and sports leaders how to deliver quality sessions for big numbers in school spaces.
Murray, a long-time member of the National Trust for Scotland, also has become a much-loved television personality, known for her appearances on Strictly Come Dancing and Celebrity Masterchef and as the presenter of the ITV series Driving Force, which showcases the lives of Britain’s most successful sportswomen. The author of the memoir Knowing the Score: My Family and Our Tennis Story and an in-demand motivational speaker, Murray’s first work of fiction, The Wild Card, will be published later this year.
Her final project is The Murray Tennis and Golf Centre near Dunblane, a family-focused community venue run by the Murray Play Foundation which will provide Scotland with a facility of national significance to showcase and grow both sports.
Scotland’s largest conservation charity
“One of the National Trust for Scotland’s most beloved properties is Falkland Palace, with its royal tennis court built in 1538 by James V of Scotland,” said Kirstin Bridier, executive director of The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA. “It is remarkably special that nearly 500 years later we are able to recognize Judy Murray for her contributions to the contemporary game of tennis and at the same time support the conservation of irreplaceable heritage properties like Falkland.”
The presentation of the Great Scot Award is at the heart of a black-tie event that raises American funds to support Scotland’s largest conservation charity. Past Great Scot recipients include documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, comedian Sir Billy Connolly, award-winning actors Alan Cumming and Brian Cox, endurance athlete and world-record breaking cyclist Mark Beaumont, sculptor Andy Scott, and authors Diana Gabaldon and Alexander McCall Smith.
A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures is a festive evening that features a whisky tasting by The Macallan; the recitation of Burns’ Ode to a Haggis by Alasdair Nichol, Chairman of Freeman’s auction house and a frequent appraiser on PBS’s Antiques Roadshow; Scottish country dancing; and live and silent auctions. Before heading home, guests form a circle, clasp hands, and sing Auld Lang Syne.
The National Trust for Scotland Foundation USA (NTSUSA) exists to support the work of Scotland’s largest conservation charity, protecting Scotland’s heritage and natural beauty now and for generations to come. Since 2000, NTSUSA has committed more than $11 million in funding for the National Trust for Scotland’s most urgent conservation priorities.
To learn more about NTSUSA or to become a member, visit: www.ntsusa.org. To learn more about the A Celebration of Scotland’s Treasures gala, visit: www.ntsusa.org/aboutus/celebration-gala/.