Monday 17 December 2018

Judy Murray believes more female coaches are needed to inspire girls to play sport

Judy Murray was speaking at The Campus, Quinta do Lago
Judy Murray was speaking at The Campus, Quinta do Lago
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Judy Murray has called for more female coaching talent to step forward in what she has described as 'a man's world'.

The mother of two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray fears young girls will stay away from tennis and other sports unless they can be inspired by mentors they can look up.

"There is a role model issue here because we don't have too many female coaches, but it is something I'm passionate about," said Murray, speaking at The Campus, Quinta do Lago.

"In many ways, I learned the techniques I used in coaching by myself and the evidence if there with by sons to suggest the methods work. That is why I'm so passionate about sharing what I have learned over the last 30 years and trying to put something back into the sport.

"In addition, have enjoyed great success in the sport without playing in the same way. Andy and Jamie have very different styles on court and it is evidence that one size doesn't fit all in our sport."

Murray is trying to take tennis to a fresh audience as she travels around her native Scotland in a van promoting the sport in deprived areas and while she is not keen to become a spokeswoman for female coaching, she accepts she has a role to play given her high profile following the success of her sons Andy and Jamie, who have both won titles at Wimbledon and other Grand Slam tennis events.

"What I have noticed for many years is that whenever I attend a coaching course, there is never a female speaker making a presentation," she added. "There is no reason why girls cannot get into coaching, but it is generally a man's world.

"When I am at a tennis conference, you occasionally see a female nutritionalist or sports scientist, but the coaching tends to be male dominated and it doesn't need to be like this.

"Maybe women are not confident enough to put themselves forward and teach what is likely to be a predominantly male audience. It is that old issue; women who get to the top have to be excellent at what they do if they are in a male dominated world because the guys are very unforgiving if you slip up.

"A lot of the coaching conferences I now do overseas now are not because I am desperate to do it, but more to provide a female voice in front of an audience that is usually weighted ten to one male. You hope that if they see a female speaking on stage, they might be encouraged to put themselves forward a little more and you need role models every step of the way.

"When you see a female coach working with little girls, they love her and want to be like her and we need to encourage more female coaching talent in all sports to come forward."

Judy Murray was speaking at The Campus, Quinat do Lago, where she will be running junior tennis camps throughout 2019. For more information call on +351 289 381 220 or email: the-campus@quintadolago.com.

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