USTA Florida’s Women in Tennis Initiative Serves as a Game Changer

Jaret Kappelman | September 13, 2023

ORLANDO, FLA., Sept 13, 2023 – USTA Florida’s Women in Tennis initiative is proving to be a game changer when it comes to opening doors for women and girls to participate in tennis and be leaders.


After launching the initiative in 2021, USTA Florida expanded its commitment in 2023 to include multiple new opportunities for women and girls to engage in tennis.  Following a successful series of kick-off events at the Billie Jean King Cup in Delray Beach this past April, the organization recently hosted an all-women’s wheelchair coach training, another all-girls tennis camp at University of North Florida, and the first-ever women in tennis speaker training in Orlando.  Feedback from participants in all events has been overwhelmingly positive.

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“We have learned a lot from our efforts this year, and I believe USTA Florida is positioned well to impact both the opportunities and experiences women have in all areas of tennis,” said Dana Andrews, USTA Florida Past President.


Andrews was recently named a “Champion of Equality” at the US Open in New York for her work in expanding opportunities for women in the Florida Section.  She has been the driving force behind the organization’s work to advocate for girls and women to advance and engage at all levels of tennis. 


Later in September, USTA Florida again will partner with the Professional Tennis Registry to deliver an all-girls tennis camp at IMG Academy in Bradenton as a lead-in to the PTRw Summit.  It was at the same event in 2022 that Andrews and USTA Florida realized more research was needed to provide more clear direction on how the tennis industry could address inequities facing women and girls in the sport. 


The organization this year has partnered with Clarity Writing and Research to conduct a comprehensive study on women in tennis – including a deep review of existing efforts and research – to identify issues and assert how we can make meaningful change. 


“While there have been numerous studies devoted to women in coaching and other areas of sport, there is a lack of clarity when it comes to what this information says and how we can apply these learnings in actionable ways,” said Laura Bowen, USTA Florida Executive Director.


The research, which is scheduled to be released at the end of 2023 has already coalesced on some key findings – most of which are not unique:

1.       Having more women in coaching and leadership roles is critical to the success of every organization and team.

2.       Gender inequity is a result of gender stereotypes and not having enough women in decision-making roles.

3.       Women-only opportunities foster greater engagement and are highly valued.


According to the research, addressing existing challenges in the landscape will require a sustained commitment and sufficient resources in key areas like training, technical assistance, peer learning, tools, progress measures and incentives. When the report is complete, USTA Florida will use the findings to develop a plan to work with all partners in the industry to develop and execute a long-term plan of action.


“We are committed to being a leading advocate for women in sports and creating opportunities for all women to participate in Florida tennis.  We know our work here in Florida will impact tennis across the country.  We need everyone to get involved and make equality a focus for the future,” said Andrews.


For more information, visit ustaflorida.com/women-in-tennis and learn how you can get involved today! Watch the podcast here!



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