The LTA has today announced a new pilot project with Girlguiding that will see Rangers trained to deliver tennis sessions as part of the governing body’s drive to inspire more women and girls to get involved in the sport.
The pilot, announced ahead of International Women’s Day this Sunday 8 March, is the first time Girlguiding has linked with a sporting governing body in this way.
It will see Judy Murray lead an LTA She Rallies coaching workshop in Bristol on 2 May with Rangers, girls aged 14-18 who are young leaders, equipping them with the leadership and coaching skills to deliver tennis sessions to girls in the Rainbow and Brownie groups where they volunteer.
The workshop will feature content from She Rallies – the LTA’s programme designed to empower more women to become tennis coaches and, in turn, inspire young girls to take up the sport.
There will also be further Girlguiding and She Rallies activity included at five other leadership training days over the summer in Edinburgh, Ilkley, Birmingham, Hertford and Eastbourne.
The pilot is supported by findings from Girlguiding’s Girls’ Attitudes survey which found almost half (46%) of girls aged 11-21 want to see more representation of women in sport. The charity’s Future Girl manifesto for girl-led change, developed with 76,000 girls and young women, found girls want women in sport to be equally supported and celebrated as men in sport.
Launched in 2017 in partnership with Judy Murray, the LTA She Rallies programme works to develop a female work force to create more opportunities for women and girls in tennis. Since launch, 60 Ambassadors have been trained to tutor and support 2,000 Community Activators to deliver tennis sessions to young girls in their local area.
Sessions are tailored to specific age groups, with the aim of sparking an interest in the sport among young girls through accessible and relatable activities. Over 20,000 girls have been inspired to take up tennis as a result.
Jo-Anne Downing, LTA Product & Programme Manager, said: “We are very excited to announce this pilot partnership and opportunities it creates in our work to open up tennis to more people. It’s great to be working together with Girlguiding to equip more young women with vital leadership skills through tennis and the LTA She Rallies programme, and ultimately see more young girls benefiting from taking part in the sport.
“Judy continues to be a fantastic ambassador for She Rallies and for women and girls in tennis, and I’m sure she will inspire the Rangers who are lucky enough to take part in these pilot sessions. Girlguiding is a national institution and we hope to continue to work together beyond this pilot to inspire the next generation of female leaders in sport.”
Angela Salt, CEO of Girlguiding, said: “LTA and Girlguiding share a common goal: to inspire girls and build their confidence in a space that feels fun and adventurous. Sport is a fantastic way to do this. So we’re delighted to join forces to offer girls more opportunities to build their confidence and leadership skills through tennis. Together, we want to build the confidence of girls today, to be the leaders of tomorrow.”
Judy Murray said: “I’m really looking forward to meeting some fantastic young women through this project, and equipping them with the skills to help us engage more women and girls in tennis. The LTA She Rallies programme has already had success in doing this, but there is more we can do and new initiatives like this are a great addition.
“It is crucial that we continue to show young women and girls that they can be leaders in whatever their chosen profession. Tennis has historically led the way for equality in sport in terms of playing, but we want to encourage more young women into positions of leadership in tennis, so I’m pleased to be working with the LTA and Girlguiding on such an exciting project.”
Keep up to date with all the latest from tennis in Britain, and find out how to get involved at www.lta.org.uk