Call for all-girl groups to encourage tennis take-up

Great Britain's Emma Raducanu celebrates defeating Greece's Maria Sakkari to reach the Women's Final

Emma Raducanu, the reigning US Open champion. - Credit: PA

All-female groups and female coaches are the key to encouraging more girls and women to take up tennis, according to one club chairman. 

Kelvin van Hasselt, from the Cromer Lawn Tennis and Squash Club, called on clubs to be more pro-active in attracting female players, rather than relying on high-profile events such as Emma Raducanu's US Open victory to "do the work for them".

Kelvin van Hasselt is passionate about retaining the all-weather courts at Cromer tennis and squash

Kelvin van Hasselt, chairman of Cromer Lawn Tennis and Squash Club, said all-female groups would encourage more women and girls to take up the sport. - Credit: Archant

Mr van Hasselt said: "Many girls feel much more comfortable in a girls-only group. I'm a coach, and when you have a mixed group you might have four or five girls who want to learn, but if you add a couple of disruptive boys they can ruin the atmosphere.

"This is a very basic, practical step that clubs can take."

Mr van Hasselt said female coaches also made tennis more appealing to girls and women. He said Cromer tennis club's junior programme only had about 30 girls compared with 80 boys - an imbalance they were working hard to address.