LTA sets out ‘She Rallies’ ambition to keep tennis at forefront of women’s sport
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The LTA, the national governing body for tennis in Britain, has today set out our ‘She Rallies’ ambition for tennis to lead the way towards becoming a truly gender balanced sport, with a new push to build on tennis’ pioneering legacy for women and girls in sport.
On court and off court, tennis has set the agenda for women’s sport and women and girls in sport for well over 100 years, creating a legacy whereby tennis is now often regarded as the most gender equal sport at both grassroots and elite level, and the benchmark many other sports are aiming for.
We believe that sport can be one of the most powerful platforms for promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls. However, in an era when we’re now seeing women’s sport in general increasingly getting a greater, but not yet fair, share of the headlines and coverage, more progress is still needed, including in tennis.
Adding her voice in support of the LTA’s drive to get more women and girls involved in tennis, Harriet Dart, British No.3 and Great Britain Billie Jean King Cup team member said: “I think women’s tennis in Britain is really on the up now, with a lot of young girls grouped around the same ranking. I’d love to see even more women and girls get involved in tennis though, so anything that can be done to see tennis continue to lead the way for women’s sport is fantastic”.
The launch of the She Rallies ambition marks a major step forward in delivering against the commitments the LTA set out in our Inclusion Strategy for tennis in Britain and is fundamental to our plans to achieve our overall vision to open tennis up to many more people.
Julie Porter, LTA Chief Operating Officer, said: “Tennis has a history to be proud of in having led the way for women’s sport, but we are not content to sit still. If we are to become a truly gender balanced sport, a new push is needed for the 21st century. Addressing the challenges that remain is not something that will be solved overnight or by one single intervention, but by rallying together, we can create a new legacy for future generations of women and girls.
“Our She Rallies ambition is therefore a commitment to do all we can to continue to lead the way for women and girls in sport as a key part of what we are doing to transform tennis in Britain, but also a call for all those involved in our sport and beyond to join in, add your voice in support, and play a part in whatever way you can so that tennis continues to break new barriers for women and girls in sport”.
WATCH: Introducing 'She Rallies'
Over the course of the next few months and to accompany the launch, we will also be releasing a ‘She Rallies’ video series, introduced by former British No.1 Laura Robson and sharing the stories of women in tennis, showing how they are rallying together to help tennis become a gender balanced sport.
Supporting the LTA’s She Rallies ambition to get more women and girls involved in tennis, Judy Murray said: “Tennis is such a fantastic sport for women and girls to be involved in, and although there has been progress over the years there is still much more that needs to be done. It’s encouraging to see a statement of ambition to make our sport truly gender balanced in every area and at all levels, and I hope to see everyone in tennis doing whatever they can to help make that ambition a reality.”
The focus of our activity will be on delivering long term, lasting change that truly makes a difference for women and girls in tennis where it is most needed. Underpinned by the necessary governance and support structures needed to make progress happen, the core of the work is concentrated around three pillars that together will help ensure tennis becomes even more relevant, accessible, welcoming and enjoyable for women and girls:
- Participation: Targeted activity to drive increased participation in tennis among women and girls, with a focus on key age groups
- Workforce: Provide the support and opportunities needed for more women to join the tennis workforce, and supporting the whole workforce to better understand and cater for female needs
- Visibility: Inspiring women and girls through increased and better female representation, driving greater visibility of women’s tennis reflective of its status as a leading women’s sport
Progress around all three of the areas is already being made with, for example new innovative partnerships with the Guides & Scouts to take tennis to non-traditional spaces and reach new audiences, the implementation of a Female Performance Coach Engagement Programme to help address the current underrepresentation of women among Performance coaches, and earlier this month the announcement that we have invested in winning a bid to bring the world cup of women’s tennis – the Billie Jean King Cup Finals – to Britain later this year to help drive the visibility of women’s tennis.
Read the full She Rallies ambition document
To read more about the LTA's She Rallies ambition for tennis to continue to lead the way for women and girls in sport, visit www.lta.org.uk/SheRallies, or to read the full ambition document, click here.