ITFWorld spring 2021

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ITF launches 'Advantage All' leadership development programme 44 Spring 2021 ITF World NEWS ROUND-UP S P R I N G 2 0 2 1 equality through its Advantage All strategy, which is supported by the Foundation for Global Sports Development. Despite the impact of COVID 19, the past 12 months have seen significant progress made. In June 2020, the ITF surveyed its 210 member nations to establish a global picture of the work being done to promote gender equality in tennis and provide an important benchmark for progress. The ITF also delivered guidelines, toolkits and workshops to enable national associations to create their own gender equality strategies. Having already achieved gender parity at the elite level with the Billie Jean King Cup Finals offering equivalent prize money to Davis Cup Finals, strides have also been made in coaching and officiating. Currently, only one in five coaches are women. However, a drive to increase engagement with the ITF Academy coaching platform has led to women accounting for almost half of its 160,000 users. Officiating workshops aimed at women have been held in all six global regions over the past two years, while almost a third of national associations now have an officiating ambassador. A 2020 ITF Female Leadership Survey identified a lack of female role models as one of the greatest challenges women face in their careers. To address this, the ITF launched its 'Inspiring Women' series last summer, which profiled six female leaders from within the sport, reaching millions of To mark International Women's Day in March, the ITF announced the launch of a new Leadership Development Programme as part of its Advantage All strategy. The programme will see more than 100 women from national tennis federations around the world provided with networking and mentoring opportunities, as well as practical support and advice to help them overcome barriers and have fulfilling careers. Central to the programme will be a series of webinars hosted by industry professionals, covering a range of topics from developing leadership skills to goal setting and self-motivation. A key focus of the programme is to expand the pipeline of female candidates for future Board and Presidential elections with the aim of achieving gender balance in the boardroom. The launch of the ITF's Leadership Development Programme followed the announcement earlier in March of a new global forum, 'Level the Playing Field'. Hosted by Catherine Whitaker and featuring special guest Billie Jean King, the event will bring together influential and inspirational individuals from sport and business to debate and advance gender equality through proactive, solution-focused discussion. Both initiatives underline the ITF's commitment to gender Oudea-Castera appointed Director General of FFT people around the world. The Leadership Development Programme will also place a strong focus on the importance of role models throughout 2021. Former professional tennis player Amelie Oudea-Castera was appointed Director General of the FFT, replacing the outgoing Jean-Francois Vilotte, in March. Oudea-Castera, who was selected by new FFT President Gilles Moretton, has a wealth of experience – both on and off the tennis court. A former junior national under-14 and under-16 champion, she also reached the girls' singles semi-finals at the US Open in 1993, and Roland Garros and Wimbledon in 1994. At the latter, Switzerland's Martina Hingis denied her a place in the final. During her professional career, she peaked at No. 251 in the WTA rankings in May 1995 – and was ranked at No. 18 in the French national rankings.

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