Women’s Coach Conference: Gabby Logan and Judy Murray among names in Birmingham
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200 female tennis coaches gathered in Birmingham for a Women’s Coach Conference, which celebrated women as role models within sport and featured an international line-up of sports leaders including Judy Murray OBE, Dame Katherine Grainger and Gabby Logan.
Held at Birmingham’s International Convention Centre, the Conference showcased the extraordinary efforts of women throughout the country, whilst providing them with the opportunity to connect with and empower each other, and in turn, enable them to inspire their communities through sport.
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BBC Sport anchor and former Commonwealth Games gymnast Gabby Logan said: “Tennis is an amazing sport for girls to play and one women and girls can get involved with throughout their lives. There is no age limit to starting out – or going back to – tennis.
"I love playing with my kids and they are benefitting hugely from the athleticism and coordination tennis gives them. It’s inspiring to see so many women coming together to ensure more opportunities are created to get women and girls into the sport as coaches and players.”
Judy Murray, Britain’s former Fed Cup Captain, has spoken before about the need for more women in coaching positions throughout sport, and particularly in tennis:
“I believe that girls respond better to female role models, and the LTA want to see more female coaches who can encourage girls to take up, and stay in, sport.
“Days like today are crucial in inspiring our female coaches to continue their development and share experiences with each other. It is great to see the LTA bringing together such a group of leading women in sport to share their expertise and experiences. Women coaches are – in my experience – particularly good at working together, networking and sharing ideas. Today’s environment lays the perfect foundation for them to do all of that.
Dame Katherine Grainger, Britain’s most decorated female Olympian and Chair of UK Sport, said: “Tennis in Great Britain has a great profile at the moment with the likes of Andy Murray, Kyle Edmund and Johanna Konta doing well on the worldwide stage – and it’s important the LTA maximises the success of their players to get more people, and particularly women and girls, involved in the sport.
“As an athlete at all stages of my career, my coaches were absolutely essential in keeping me engaged, inspired and motivated to reach the very maximum of my potential, and it’s fantastic to see the LTA staging events like the Women’s Coach Conference to invest in their coaches.”
There are currently 800 women in LTA coaching roles across the country, but the LTA revealed an ambitious goal at the Conference to double the number of women on coaching programmes over the next five years, creating more female role models to deliver tennis sessions nationwide.
Sue Lawrence, Head of Category for Women and Girls at the LTA said: “Tennis coaches are fundamental to growing the game and delivering an outstanding experience for people when they first pick up a racket. We have some incredible coaches in British Tennis and we want to help more women take up coaching roles”.