South Croydon teen Isaac Stoute claims first victory in Lawn Tennis Association racism legal battle
A talented teenager tennis player has claimed victory in the first stage of his legal battle with the sport's British governing body over allegations of racial discrimination.
Isaac Stoute, 18, of South Croydon, will fight in court to prove the Lawn Tennis Association unfairly prioritised lower-ranked "Caucasian" players for funding, training and tournaments after judges dismissed the organisation's appeal.
The teenager, formerly the top-rated under-18 player in Kent, alleges the LTA "destroyed his career" and also starved his achievements of publicity while championing the lesser competitive successes of white players, limiting his sponsorship opportunities.
The association last year won a court ruling to throw out Isaac's claims on the grounds legal documents had not been validly served.
But three Court of Appeal judges last week overturned that ruling and said the tennis player's allegations must go to trial.
Lord Justice Underhill told the court: "What the parties require overall is certainty of outcome. In other words, has there been discrimination or not?
"This can best be achieved by getting the case on for trial sooner rather than later given that it was now issued almost a year ago."
His father Michael Stoute, 51, of Netherheys Drive, said after the ruling: "It is a huge relief. It means now that we get to have our day in court and will be able to put our money where our mouth is."
The teenager is seeking reinstatement of funding, a declaration of unlawful discrimination on racial grounds, damages for injury to feelings and loss of sponsorship opportunities.
He is also calling for £60,000 in back-dated funding it is alleged should have received since 2008.
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