The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has appointed seven new members to its council as part of its efforts to increase inclusion and diversity in tennis.
The LTA board-nominated councillors will serve for a minimum of three years and up to a maximum of nine years and will be tasked with growing the sport, coach development, volunteer engagement and inclusion and diversity.
The seven members to have been appointed are:
Lottie Birdsall-Strong - Ex-women's football player with Arsenal; recently appointed to the ECB
Yasmin Clarke - Former professional player; coach to brother Jay, world No 204 in singles
Jonathon Dawes - Final year A-Level student; LTA Award winner for Young Person of the Year 2019
Wasim Haq - Two years at the FA Council and a member of the FA Inclusion Advisory Board
Judith Loffhagen - Club tennis player and parent of ATP professional on LTA pathway; involved in England Netball as player and coach
Adrian Packer - Founder and CEO of the CORE Education Trust which manages schools in disadvantaged areas
Shiv Paul - Creator of a documentary film about LGBTQ+ amateur tennis players that started the USTA's annual Pride Events
The addition of new members to the LTA Board follows calls from chief executive Scott Lloyd last year, stating that he wanted tennis "to be open to everyone" and recognised that the governing body hadn't done enough to drive inclusion in the sport.
"I am passionate about growing and developing tennis in the UK and the LTA's vision of seeing it opened and accessible to all," said newly appointed councillor Yasmin Clarke.
"As councillors, I believe we have a unique perspective and set of skills to push diversity and inclusion at every level of the game."
LTA President David Rawlinson, chair of the council, added: "We are making progress on our commitment to embed inclusion and diversity throughout what we do, and these appointments will help us continue that.
"They collectively bring with them a diverse range of experience and views that will be of real value to us in our work to achieve our vision of opening up tennis and making it a sport for anyone, no matter their age, background, gender or ability."
Author: Jake Wilkin