Henley Tennis Club has been delivering a new programme of girls-only tennis courses as part of a national programme ‘Prime Video LTA Youth Girls’ launched to inspire thousands of girls to pick up a racket and play tennis.
The six-week introductory course was packed with games and exercises to build confidence and skills on court, all whilst having fun with friends. The sessions are specially designed to introduce girls to tennis and motivate them to stay in the sport, based on the LTA’s research and insight into the barriers and challenges facing girls that impact their participation in sport.
Data shows that as children get older, progress through coaching programmes, and into formal competition, the gender split between male and female participants widens. This programme is designed to make tennis more appealing for girls addressing social, psychological and environmental pressures and challenges facing girls, introducing competition in a process rather than outcome focused way.
Head Coach Tom Scott said, “I did not expect us to be selected to deliver this amazing new initiative. This area has been one which is in the forefront of not just sport but society, so to get more girls playing tennis through this program is amazing. The Henley community have been so supportive as they always are. We now over 30 new girls actively taking part in tennis which is just beyond awesome. Myself and the team are now looking forward to the next batch of sessions.”
The LTA recently announced positive growth in participation amongst women and girls, and of the 3.63 million children playing tennis in Britain 49% of them are girls. Introducing more girls into the sport but also ensuring that they are provided with an experience that is fun, pressure-free and enjoyable, to develop a positive relationship with tennis and continue to play as they get older, is a key focus. The Prime Video LTA Youth Girls training makes progress to developing a coaching workforce that is mindful of the particular factors involved when coaching young girls.
The Prime Video LTA Youth Girls programme was launched in October 2022 with Prime Video’s reinvestment of the funds generated from sharing the broadcast of Emma Raducanu’s 2021 US Open Final with Channel 4. LTA accredited coaches applied to take part from across Great Britain and having received training are now delivering programmes in their local clubs and venues with equipment and support from the LTA.