Girls playing tennis with girls...a big hit in Western Bay of Plenty

Friday, 10 February 2023

Tennis Western Bay of Plenty is focused on supporting girls tennis.  They initiated a Girls Only Squads programme to provide the opportunity for young females to flourish and grow their love of tennis. 

Their programme offers fun-orientated tennis with get-togethers giving girls, and their parents, the opportunity to get to know each other and build a supportive girls’ tennis community. Due to the success of the programme they are including an orange ball option to allow younger girls to benefit from the sessions.  

The need for programmes like this is backed up by research from various organisations around the world. The Women’s Sports Foundation being one of these, they ask the following question and offer simple advice – “Have you run a co-ed sports program that by the end of the season had 18 boys and 2 girls?

You’re not alone. At a fairly young age boys start to get territorial about their sports spaces and girls start getting pushed to the side-lines. Single sex teams offer girls an emotionally safe environment and a level playing field in which to push themselves physically and mentally and to develop their skills and self-confidence.”

Sussa Bailey, Operations manager at Tennis Western Bay of Plenty, shares why their girls programme is important to them.

“More boys play tennis in 10 – 18 age group. We've noticed a steady decline in girls going from Orange to Green ball stage, and then a drop off after 10/12 years old. Most girls around 10 - 14 years of age tell us that they prefer playing doubles, not singles.

"Girls of any age (not the born competitors) do not like to play interclub against boys, they prefer to play other girls. Due to numbers, it is often not easy to field a girls-only Interclub (have tried, we were successful with an Orange ball girls only). We decided we must give the girls in our region a free, valuable opportunity to meet and hang out with other girls that play tennis in WBOP.”  

“We want to tell tennis girls in WBOP: we see you! You are so important to us! We want you to enjoy tennis with your friends, built relationships, reap the benefits of exercise and fun, healthy habits, healthy body, healthy mind! You are our future - if mums enjoy the game, their sons and daughters will too!”

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