Sam Grierson caught up with Claire Brown, LTA’s Head of Region
BY SAM GRIERSON, IMAGES BY SAM GRIERSON/GETTY IMAGES
On Friday, I caught up with Claire Brown, the Lawn Tennis Association’s (LTA) Head of Region to find out more about their first ever Friday Pride Day campaign. Claire tells me that “As a part of the wider inclusion strategy for the LTA, we recognised that it was important to improve our engagement with the LGBTQI communities, who are involved in tennis as fans, players, volunteers, officials and referees”. As Claire herself knows, being a lesbian and working within the sports industry, representation and visibility matters. “At the LTA we really want to make sure that there is a place for everyone in tennis. That people are able to feel like they belong, whether they are playing in a club, a park, for the first time or every week”.
Rennae Stubbs, six times Grand Slam Champion and Olympian joined the event in Birmingham as a part of a live Instagram interview for DIVA, delighting her fans and saying “I think it’s fantastic that the LTA are finally starting to really embrace it. The LTA has done a great job. It’s been so nice to witness the maturation of the LTA. And it’s so important because so many kids and people come to tennis that are in the gay community and the trans community, so its lovely that they are embracing them and letting them know that it’s okay. We know you are here, we embrace it and we love it”.
The LTA is teaming up with the Pride in Tennis Network in order to help people who play tennis, fans or newbies who want to have a go meet other LGBTQI people and form local groups. Eira Guest on behalf of the network said “It’s hugely important for Pride in Tennis to be working with the LTA in creating networks to make sure that we have safe spaces that are inclusive for all of our LGBTQI members”.
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