Judy Murray joins LTA-led workshops for female tennis coaches from underrepresented communities
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The LTA and Judy Murray joined forces for two events in late September aimed at equipping young female coaches from underserved communities with the skills to deliver introductory tennis sessions to women and girls.
The events, held in London and Manchester, are part of the latest collaboration between the LTA's SERVES and She Rallies programmes, with the former delivered in partnership with Judy Murray.
In the morning sessions, Murray passed on specialist advice to 20 young coaches, which they then put into practice alongside the former Fed Cup Captain as she led the afternoon sessions with 30 local school girls, using drills and games from the She Rallies ‘Teen Girls Starter’ programme.
The coaches at the sessions were LTA SERVES ‘Activators’ – youth workers and faith leaders from the local community who have been trained to give tennis coaching sessions.
The aim of the partnership, which was piloted at a similar event in Birmingham during this year’s Nature Valley Classic, is for the coaches to combine these skills to enable them to empower more young girls from disadvantaged communities in their area to get involved with tennis.
LTA SERVES was developed to engage a broader audience in tennis, and aims to transform the lives of young people living in disadvantaged communities by giving them the opportunity to take part in regular tennis activities, while She Rallies works to develop a female workforce to create more opportunities for women and girls in tennis.
Providing pop up courts and equipment, the LTA works with 160 organisations and ‘Activators’ to deliver Serves sessions in over 200 community venues ranging from youth clubs to mosques and temples.
76% of SERVES participants are from the 30% of most deprived communities in the UK, and nearly half the participants are from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities.
Kiran Matharu, LTA Community Tennis Manager, said: “The LTA wants to break down barriers and change the perception of tennis by opening it up to new audiences. Running sessions like these and working with people like Judy are all part of this vision. Our SERVES programme brings tennis to places and people who wouldn’t necessarily think it was for them, and it’s important that we show tennis is a sport for all. It was fantastic to see both our Activators and the school girls who came today inspired by the sport and long may that continue.”
Find out more about LTA SERVES here.
Find out more about LTA She Rallies here.