The Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) has unveiled a diversity and inclusion group of almost 50 people to draw on their diverse range of views and experiences.
Dubbed the IDEA group, standing for inclusion, diversity, equity and accessibility, it will bring together LTA colleagues with diverse representatives from across the tennis community, including players, coaches, officials, volunteers and fans.
Group members are those who have lived through a wide range of experiences, positive and negative, around inclusion and diversity in tennis, and who want to contribute their voice to the future progress of the sport.
The LTA has stated that the IDEA group is the first of many initiatives and actions they will be taking as part of their new inclusion and diversity strategy for tennis later this year. Alongside its formation, steps have been taken to enhance its governance and leadership, with processes currently underway to recruit new members of the LTA Council and LTA Board.
Meanwhile, members of the new IDEA Group have already come together through a series of three focus groups held before and after Christmas.
The governing body said the group will play a role in helping to ensure inclusion and diversity is kept at the heart of the sport as well as promoting tennis as something that can played by anybody, no matter their age, background or ability.
“We are really excited to have been able to bring together such a fantastic and diverse group of people to form the IDEA Group, and we’d like to thank everyone who has volunteered to be part of it," said LTA People Director, Vicky Williams.
"We are steadfast in our commitment to listen to people who have views to express and experiences to share, and establishing this group is a clear demonstration of that. It is great to hear the positive feedback we have had from group members on the sessions we have already held, which from our perspective proved to be both incredibly inspiring and valuable in helping us to develop our forthcoming inclusion and diversity strategy.”
IDEA Group Member, Kate Maurici, added: “I put my name forward for the IDEA group because I saw it as an opportunity to use my experience of delivering Community Tennis to make a difference to a wider group across the country and ask difficult questions, challenging the current status quo. I would like to see the group help to implement some innovative and effective changes to tennis, opening it up further to under-represented groups.”
Author: Jake Wilkin