Court Bosses Launch

Court Bosses Launch

Court Bosses Launch

Tennis Ireland is delighted to announce the launch of a new Women in Tennis Programme – “Court Bosses”.

The programme is for young women between the ages of 16 and 18 that will give them the skills and confidence they need to remain in the sport as players and coaches.

Research has shown that young athletes leave the sport they love prematurely when they hit puberty, and Court Bosses aims to halt this through its nine-month training programme.

Participants will receive training and assessment that will result in a level one coaching qualification, plus tailored empowerment, and personal development training. The combination of tennis skills and skills such as values, confidence, resilience, and female empowerment is what makes the court bosses programme unique.

The Court Bosses programme is the concept of Nuala Phillips, DEI lead Hilden Tennis Club, Lisa Strutt, of Reboot, and Grainne O’ Neill, Aoife O Sullivan, and Stephen Garvin, of Tennis Ireland. Tennis Ireland has an all-island remit to provide training and development for Tennis Players of all ages and levels with the support of Sport Ireland and Sport Northern Ireland to provide funding and assistance Support for the development of Irish Tennis Cubs and Players of all ages and abilities in their professional careers.

Deputy First Minister Emma Little-Pengelly, who attended the launch at Hilden Tennis Club in Lisburn, said: “Court Bosses is a wonderful, forward-looking initiative which will encourage more young women to continue playing tennis and empower them in their future personal, sporting, and professional lives. During my visit to Hilden Tennis Club, I was reminded of sport’s ability to unite and inspire. It was fantastic to meet some of the participants and I have no doubt they will embrace and benefit from everything this programme has to offer.”

Kevin Quinn, CEO of Tennis Ireland, said.

“Tennis Ireland is delighted to partner and launch support “Court Bosses,” this a hugely significant new programme designed with our partners to help develop female players and inspire a new cohort of coaches among the younger cohorts of players. We hope that with Court Bosses, with support from our partners we can create a difference in developing these young players, keeping them involved in our fantastic sport, helping them to grow, and changing their futures and the futures of their colleagues across our island of Ireland.”

Nuala Phillips, co-founder Court Bosses spoke at the launch event, saying.

“‘The Court Bosses programme is for teenage female players and has been developed by a group of female founders from diverse backgrounds unified in wanting to see more females in leadership positions in sport and in professional life; as the evidence is clear, girls who play sport become women who lead. Empowering female athletes and young women in general is a proven way to develop a better society and a better economy.”

Lisa Strutt of Reboot, said,

“We are delighted to help provide leadership skills, resilience, and other content for this programme. We have seen how working with young women in sport significantly impacts their lives and confidence in every aspect of their lives. We can see the impact on the thousands of young women who have passed through our Reboot programmes and others. We want to see a difference in tennis too.”  

There are currently 13 young women enrolled in Court Bosses and following their successful graduation in October, it is intended that this programme will be rolled out nationwide. 

The programme was officially launched by Letty Lucas (President of Tennis Ireland), Kevin Quinn (CEO of Tennis Ireland), and the Court Bosses Project Team of Nuala Phillips, Lisa Strutt, Sinéad Sharkey-Steenson, Michelle Daly Hayes, Sara McCraken, Stephen Garvin and Aoife O’Sullivan in Hilden Tennis Club on Tuesday.

The launch was attended by many distinguished guests including Emma Little Pengally (Deputy First Minister of Northern Ireland), Kurtis Dickson (Mayor of Lisburn & Castlereagh City Council), Ruth Young (President of Lisburn Chamber of Commerce), Gill Brosnan (High Performance Programme Manager, Sport Ireland), George Lucas (Chair of Sport Northern Ireland) and Rebecca Hope (Head of Sports Systems, Sport Northern Ireland).

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