Female coaching on the rise across the Americas and Caribbean
Female coaching is on the rise in North and Central America, and in the Caribbean, according to the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
The ITF highlighted its Advantage All gender equality strategy at the recent Billie Jean King Cup Juniors by Gainsbridge and Davis Cup Juniors by Gainbridge qualifiers, and ITF World Junior Tennis Finals.
Advantage All was launched by the ITF in 2018 with the goal of developing and maintaining tennis as an equal advantage sport.
The 2021 ITF Global Tennis Report demonstrated that only 22.3% of tennis coaches across the globe were female. The ITF believes that the recent events in North and Central America, and the Caribbean, for the ITF World Junior Tennis Finals, hinted at positive progress.
These events witnessed 24% of team captains being female, an increase from 17% the year prior. The region’s Billie Jean King Cup Juniors and Davis Cup pre-qualifying competition also demonstrated a similar trend, with 21% of the captains being female, a 6% increase compared to 2022.
Work has been carried out by the ITF Female Coaches Network, part of the Advantage All programme within the ITF Coaching System, to advance opportunities for women.
“We’re working hard to grow female participation within our game, and we have shown that if we set really concise goals, that can be accomplished."
Cecilia Ancalmo, the ITF’s Development Officer for Central America and a member of the ITF Female Coaches Network, said: “We have set some very purposeful goals this year. One of the areas we decided to focus upon was seeing 30% of female captains at all ITF junior team competitions and, to see the results we have by March, we are very happy with the outcome.
“The cherry on top of the cake was the captains of the teams which contested the Billie Jean King Cup Juniors pre-qualifying final in Guatemala City were both female, which is something that has never happened previously.
“Also pleasing is that most of the female captains in Guatemala and Dominican Republic were part of ITF coaching programmes last year, so that investment has proven productive.
“We’re working hard to grow female participation within our game, and we have shown that if we set really concise goals, that can be accomplished. It is just a case of putting in the work, which we are happy to do.”
John Goede, the ITF’s Development Officer for the Caribbean, added: “In the COTECC (Central American & Caribbean Tennis Confederation) region, work has been done to develop our females in tennis.
“The influence of strong female coaches in a leadership role has been significant in the development of tennis for girls in various nations. As an ITF representative during team competitions, I have noticed the positive impact on the individuals, teams and the whole event when there are more female leaders available.”
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