The LTA published its Inclusion strategy for tennis in Britain in 2021, with an ambition to lead the way on inclusion and diversity in sport.
We hope you share in our vision to be truly open to all, no matter your background, disability, age, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation or race and ethnicity. This will only be fully achieved when every person’s experience of tennis, in all tennis environments, makes them feel like they belong.
Venues, volunteers, and coaches are central to this ambition. These pages aim to support you in your role to understand the barriers that prevent people from participating in tennis and help your venue be as truly inclusive as you can be.
What are the benefits of being an inclusive venue?
- Increased membership: Inclusive venues that attract a more diverse range of players, will ultimately increase their bookings and membership.
- Improved Talent Development: By providing opportunities for players of all backgrounds and abilities, venues can identify and nurture talent more effectively. This can result in the discovery of exceptional players, from diverse communities, who might otherwise have been overlooked.
- Enhanced Community Engagement: Inclusive venues become integral parts of their local communities. They can be a safe space for people to be their authentic selves, leading to a greater a sense of belonging.
- Positive Reputation: Venues that prioritise inclusivity build a positive reputation in their local community, making tennis more appealing to a broad demographic.
- Broadened Tennis Appeal: By being an inclusive venue, you are playing your part to break down perceptions that tennis is only for one type of audience.
- Diversity of Perspectives: A diverse membership brings with it a diversity of perspectives and ideas. This can lead to innovative approaches to coaching, venue management, and event organization.
- Access to Funding: Some funding sources and grants are specifically earmarked for inclusive and community projects. Inclusive venues may have access to additional funding opportunities to support your programmes and initiatives to reach more of your community.
- Long-Term Sustainability: Inclusivity helps ensure the long-term sustainability of your venues and its programmes. If more people from different backgrounds attend your venue, that’s more income to support with growing the venue. Income isn’t just about paying your membership or programmes, think of what else your members will purchase whilst at the venue.
Open Your Doors is an online disability-inclusion module open to people within a club, park, community and the education landscape who want to make their venue more inclusive. It also supports everyone involved in tennis; coaches, volunteers, committee members and venue staff.
When you have finished this course, you will have a better understanding and more detailed knowledge of the following:
- What ‘inclusion’ and ‘accessibility’ really means
- The barriers of participation in tennis by disabled people
- How to overcome some of these through positive change
- How the LTA can support you both inclusively and through our Open Court Programme
There are knowledge checks as you progress through the course based on the information in the unit.
Please be aware that by enrolling onto this course your first name and last name will be visible to other learners. No contact information is shared.
You will have six months to complete this course.
Here at the LTA, our vision is tennis opened up and we believe in creating a culture of everyday inclusion, so everybody can be their true authentic self and thrive in tennis.
In September, it’s National Inclusion Week (NIW). Between 25th September – 1st October 2023, we will be celebrating the diversity across tennis in Britain by sharing the rich vein of stories across our sport and providing everyone with access to a suite of tools and resources to increase your knowledge and confidence to further open up in tennis in your area.
After the success of NIW 2022, where over 600 people booked onto our inclusion related courses, we’ve made the decision to go again and make all these courses free of charge for another National Inclusion Week, so make sure you take a look at the below courses.
For your coaches:
Our Open Court Programme is a national scheme that actively promotes and delivers opportunities for disabled people to get involved in tennis.
Find out more here.
We work with tennis venues and national disability partners across the country to put on a range of activities to improve mental and physical health for disabled people, through our disability initiatives.
Find out more here.
Sport England Club Matters Programme has some great resources to support you to understand how to create an inclusive environment, reach new audiences, work with your community and a self-assessment tool called their Disability Inclusion Club Hub, designed with Activity Alliance.
Find out more here.
- Riverside Tennis Club: 'A resilient partnership project opening tennis up to young people with disabilities.'
- Brentwood Tennis Club, Sheffield: 'An inclusive coaching programme that proffers the health and wellbeing benefits of tennis to all.'
- Get Set 4 Tennis: 'How crowdfunding united a community to optimise tennis facilities for children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND).'
- Beverley Park Lawn Tennis Club: 'Engaging adults and young people in the community through inclusive and accessible tennis programmes'