A TENNIS coach from Leeds joined forces with one of the sport’s biggest names at the weekend in a bid to get more girls to pick up a racket.
Former PE teacher Louise Assioun was with Judy Murray on behalf of She Rallies, an organisation that Murray founded with the Lawn Tennis Association and Tennis Scotland two years ago to retain and increase the number of female players and coaches across the UK.
The She Rallies event in Scotland saw over 100 girls take part in a range of tennis activities and 60 women trained to become She Rallies Activators – volunteers tasked with running community-based tennis programmes for girls. The event was one of a number taking place across the country this summer and part of a drive to recruit 2,500 women from a range of backgrounds to train as activators over the next 12 months across the UK. A large number of those are expected to come from Yorkshire.
Murray said: “Having positive female role models as coaches, particularly at community level, is absolutely vital to achieving this.
“We’re calling on women who want to inspire girls in their local communities to pick up a racket and play the game to get in touch with us.
“You don’t have to have a background in tennis to be involved, just someone who is passionate about giving girls the opportunity to take part in the game and all the fantastic benefits that can bring – and it’s all free!”
Assioun – who is Coach Education Manager at Leeds Becket University and coaches a number of the Great Britain wheelchair tennis team – said: “It was fantastic to spend time with Judy and see first hand the passion she has for getting more girls into the game.
“Having been a coach for nearly 25 years myself I know how important it is to have role models like her to get more women involved in coaching which is the key to getting more girls playing.”
A number of local courses are taking place across Yorkshire for females over the age of 16 to train as She Rallies Activators.
To find out more or to sign up for a course, visit sherallies.com/get-involved/