Tennis ITF appoints Fatime Kanté on its gender equality committee |07 December 2019
The head of Seychelles’ tennis governing body Fatime Kanté now sits on the International Tennis Federation’s gender equality committee which was created in 2017 to promote equal opportunities on and off the court.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) first presented its gender equality strategy on the opening day of the 2018 ITF conference and annual general meeting in Orlando, Florida. The campaign which is based around five key themes is aimed at improving gender equality in all areas of the game to ensure tennis is a leading light for sport both on and off the field.
Firstly, there is empowerment, through which the ITF wants to create more opportunities for women to become leaders in sport. The Foundation of Global Sports Development has provided the ITF with a grant to fund the ‘Empowering Female Leaders’ programme. This will consist of workshops, education courses and professional development for women in leadership, officiating and coaching.
The second key theme is balance which ensures that everyone has an equal opportunity to take part and enjoy tennis. From the programmes and competitions on offer to the funding, training, earning potential, prominence and exposure, it’s important to provide balanced support for both genders.
Through culture, which is the third key theme, the ITF and member nations must build a culture that is inclusive and inspirational to ensure the sport is addressing and eliminating bias and discrimination at every level.
It is essential to look at work practices, the environment in which we operate and the way we communicate to develop an equal advantage sport.
Fourthly, there is value where women’s sport is seen as progressive and inspiring and audiences are growing. The theme of value looks to ensure that tennis is maximising women’s events from a fan, sponsorship and broadcast perspective.
The fifth and last key theme is voice and the theme centres on making sure that tennis speaks with one voice. The language used in the media can have a significant influence over the perceptions of the women’s game.
The ITF is committed to working with the international tennis media to find ‘One Voice’ for the male and female game which speaks to the value of both equally.
Commenting on her appointment, Ms Kanté noted that she is humbly joining those leaders to bring this fight to greater heights, so that one day, men and women will mutually evolve in sports.
She explained that over the years, great progress has been made in promoting gender equality in terms of balancing the total number of athletes taking part in international games, offering leadership development, advocacy and awareness campaigns, and more recently, in appointing more women to leadership roles within the administration and governance.
“A lot of works awaits and I am very blessed for this nomination,” added Ms Kanté, who further noted that she shares the recognition with every woman, the Seychelles Tennis Association (STA) and Seychelles as a country.
Ms Kanté further added that the nomination is proof that the ITF recognises the potential of Seychelles to help and contribute many great things towards the prosperous future of the sport.