Any good financial advisor will tell you to diversify your portfolio if you want to maximize its value. The same theory applies to the diversification of tennis. By making tennis open and accessible to all people of varied backgrounds, the value of the sport, the overall crowd appeal and the potential for high returns will increase. It is with this in mind that the USTA has made multicultural participation a Level I Strategic Priority, and approved a Diversity Plan to make the priority a reality.
"The effort to have 30 million tennis players by 2010 is an aggressive and achievable goal with the commitment of USTA leadership, staff and volunteers working together to grow the game," says USTA Chief Diversity Officer, Karlyn Lothery. "The USTA is working to bring diversity to all aspects of the business: from grassroots recreational players, to job candidates and vendors, to the ever important community and professional tennis players." This unilateral outreach campaign is designed to help grow the sport of tennis by making it more attractive and accessible to people of all backgrounds.
The USTA is committed to growing the game through outreach and inclusion, as defined by our USTA Board of Directors Approved Diversity Statement:
We, the United States Tennis Association recognize diversity as essential to achieving our mission, “To Promote and Develop the Growth of Tennis”. For us, diversity refers to differences of culture, ethnicity, race, gender, age, beliefs, religion, social economic status, sexual orientation, family status, physical ability, appearance and ideas.
We are committed to achieving greater diversity throughout the sport and fostering a tennis environment that is more inclusive.
At the United States Tennis Association we are committed to enhancing the diversity of our workplace through recruitment, hiring, retention, training, and professional development of a diverse group of employees. For a list of employment opportunities, please visit us at http://yourserve.usta.com/workforus/. You do not need to be a tennis professional to be a part of the winning team.
Financial disparity is consistently identified as a significant barrier that prevents multicultural players from getting into the sport. To help boost tennis participation among aspiring multicultural players, the USTA has created the Multicultural Grants Program, which offers grants to programs, community tennis associations and individual players.
Read News You Can Use about how two players, Zina Garrison and Katrina Adams, made it to the pro tour before a multicultural grant process was established.
The USTA established its Supplier Diversity Program in 2005 with the belief that doing business with women owned and minority owned businesses is a positive way to make an investment in communities. The Purchasing Department and Office of Diversity are working together to locate businesses that meet the USTA’s organizational needs and are capable of supplying the quality service we expect from all vendors. For more information, or to complete a vendor profile, please click on the link: USTA Vendor Process (pdf)
Multicultural Participation Committee
- To identify major barriers which prohibit multicultural participation in the USTA.
- To develop promotional, program and leadership initiatives at the national and sectional levels that will substantially increase multicultural participation in the USTA.
- To promote inclusion of people from all backgrounds in all areas of the USTA.
- To build linkages to tennis organizations that serve multicultural communities to better promote tennis in their community.
- To identify methods to monitor and evaluate multicultural participation in USTA programs and on sectional and national committees.
Diversity/Multicultural Participation (This Includes You)
The USTA Multicultural Participation Department is made up of a National Director of Multicultural Development and a staff person in each of the seventeen USTA Sectional Offices.
The role of the staff is:
- To generate awareness of tennis programs and activities.
- To provide training opportunities for tennis coaches at local, regional, and national locations.
- To work closely with all USTA program coordinators to promote their programs to diverse communities.
- To identify possible funding sources to assist programs, players and coaches in their efforts.
- To work closely with the volunteer Multicultural Participation Committee in the recruitment of new volunteers.
- To work with established and new Community Tennis Associations to insure that the multicultural segment of the community is represented.
- To cultivate relationships with professional, cultural and educational organizations who may serve as partners to promote and develop the growth of tennis.
- To educate and provide training opportunities to sectional and national staff in the area of diversity, tolerance, and inclusion.
- To assist in strengthening the USTA image.
- To facilitate the relationship between minority owned businesses and the USTA to ensure total inclusion in all vendor and supplier bidding opportunities.
Click here to find out how to contact your Section Multicultural Development staff person.