LTA establishes ‘IDEA’ group to help drive inclusion and diversity in tennis

03/02/2021

| News

The LTA has announced the next step in our work to drive forward inclusion and diversity in tennis, with the recruitment of a new group of almost 50 people from across all areas of the sport to enable us to listen to and draw on their diverse range of views and experiences.

Called the IDEA Group, standing for inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility, it brings together LTA colleagues with diverse representatives from across the tennis community, including players, coaches, officials, volunteers and fans.  The group includes people who have had a wide range of lived experiences, positive and negative, around inclusion and diversity in tennis, and who want to contribute their voice and their views to help the sport continue its progress.

Putting in place the actions needed to effect real change

The formation of the group is the latest in a series of actions we are implementing ahead of our publication of our new inclusion and diversity strategy for tennis later this year.  It follows the open letters published by LTA Chief Executive Scott Lloyd last year that made clear our commitment as the national governing body for tennis to firstly listen, and then to put in place the actions needed to effect real change as part of our drive to open tennis up. The majority of IDEA Group members were among those who responded to the open invite in those letters to get in touch and share their views.

Alongside the formation of the IDEA Group, the LTA has already announced steps to enhance its governance and leadership, with processes currently underway to recruit new members of both the LTA Council and LTA Board who can positively contribute to the diversity of our thoughts, ideas and approaches to achieving our vision of Tennis Opened Up.

Tennis session

Meanwhile, members of the new IDEA Group have already come together through a series of three focus groups held before and after Christmas, with the output of these sessions and the views and thoughts raised by members being used by the LTA to help shape the new inclusion and diversity strategy for tennis.

Going forward, the group will have the opportunity to play a role in helping to ensure inclusion and diversity is kept at the heart of our sport, in line with our vision and work to open up tennis so it can be played by anyone, no matter their age, background or ability.  The group will also act as a vehicle for change, helping to shape and drive forward the implementation of the LTA’s forthcoming strategy, and checking and challenging our work in this area.

'If we are striving to make change within our society, our sports need to follow suit'

IDEA Group Member, Kate Maurici, said: “I put my name forward for the IDEA group because I saw it as an opportunity to use my experience of delivering Community Tennis to make a difference to a wider group across the country and ask difficult questions, challenging the current status quo. I would like to see the group help to implement some innovative and effective changes to tennis, opening it up further to under-represented groups.”

Fellow group member, Miles Daley, said: “I decided to put my name forward as a member of the group because I want to help create a more diverse tennis culture within the UK. The BLM movement highlighted the reality of the struggles that many ethnic minorities face in everyday life, and if we are striving to make change within our society, our sports need to follow suit. I feel as though through my experiences as a player and coach, I could be a voice within a group of people to help move tennis in Britain forward, and towards making positive changes that benefit more people.”

We are steadfast in our commitment to listen to people who have views to express and experiences to share, and establishing this group is a clear demonstration of that

LTA People Director, Vicky Williams said: “We are really excited to have been able to bring together such a fantastic and diverse group of people to form the IDEA Group, and we’d like to thank everyone who has volunteered to be part of it.  We are steadfast in our commitment to listen to people who have views to express and experiences to share, and establishing this group is a clear demonstration of that.  It is great to hear the positive feedback we have had from group members on the sessions we have already held, which from our perspective proved to be both incredibly inspiring and valuable in helping us to develop our forthcoming inclusion and diversity strategy.”

LTA IDEA Group Members

The IDEA Group is coordinated by the LTA’s Matthew Grover, and brings representatives from across the tennis community together with LTA colleagues, encompassing a wide range of views and experiences.

Name

Role

Harry Ash      Disability Development Partner (LTA)
Jim Barton Coach
Sam Bass   Coach
Rebecca Bollands  Deputy Head Teacher
Mark Bullock Disability Tennis Coordinator and Inclusion/Disability Advisor
Marie Burns     Head Coach and business manager
Graham Chilvers Coach
Richard Coleman Part of WESPORT
Jo Cunliffe     Participation Development Partner (LTA)
Miles Daley Coach
Tom Defrates  Open Court Lead and coach
Tony Devenish Participation Development Partner (LTA)
Nigel Fletcher   CEO - International Sports Convention
Marnie Freeman-Hacker Ambassador for disability tennis
Isaac Frimpong  Volunteer and Coach
Paul Gillett  VI Player and Volunteer
Sonia Gouveia Product and Programme Coordinator (LTA)
Chris Graham Coach of disability tennis
Tara Granea Customer Support Specialist (LTA)
David Hardman Disability Development Manager (LTA)
Alex Harkins Judy Murray Ambassador and coach
Uma Iyer Coach
Richard Jones Tennis bookshop
Loretta Lock Disability Coach
Astrid Mannheim Legal and Discipline Coordinator (LTA)
Kiran Matharu Community Programme Manager (LTA)
Kate Maurici Coach and Referee
Sarah McLeod Part of WESPORT
James Mills Park sites manager
Jill Osleger Head of Region - Central & East (LTA)
Ian Pearson-Brown Coach
Anna Poyser Physiotherapist (LTA)
Jane Quereshi Fan
Michael Robson Fan
Frankie Rohan VI Player and coach
Richard Sackey-Addo Education Project Mngr- International Tennis Integrity Agency
Rashida Salloo Community Development Partner (LTA)
Rosena Skeete Tennis Coach
Roger Smith IT Support Engineer (LTA)
Rebecca Smith Player / Volunteer
Robby Sukhdeo Coach
John Sukhedo  Coach
Sena Tengey Manager and Coach
Jo Ward Coach Education & Curriculum Manager (LTA)
Lesley Whitehead LD specialist, Director of Virtus Intellectual Impairment Sport
Jon Wildman Coach
Tanya Woodward Participation Development Partner (LTA)

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