Montreal, March 21, 2023—Tennis Canada, in partnership with National Bank, is proud to unveil the Game. Set. Equity. commitment, an ambitious and holistic strategy that will advance gender equity at all levels of the tennis ecosystem in Canada, from playgrounds to the professional tours.
“Over the last few years, Tennis Canada has been able to realize important milestones towards gender equity in tennis, most notably by securing a 10-year partnership with National Bank in 2021 with a proportionate amount of the investment earmarked for advancing the participation and retention of women and girls in tennis,” said Michael Downey, CEO of Tennis Canada. “However, the unveiling of Game. Set. Equity. marks the beginning of a new era for Canadian tennis. It will be the first time in our history that our sport has a long-term road map for creating sustainable change for women and girls in all areas of tennis, from high-performance and coaching to leadership and beyond. The five-year targets are ambitious as they should be, but we are really excited to see how things will unfold.”
Five pillars of success
Created by Tennis Canada, the Game. Set. Equity. commitment will be delivered through five key pillars that align with the International Tennis Federation’s Advantage All strategy:
- Grow Participation: In partnership with our Provincial and Territorial Tennis Associations and other industry partners, invest in bespoke opportunities that are proven to attract and retain women and girls as participants and leaders in tennis.
- Lead Equitable, Inclusive and Safe Experiences at Tennis Canada: Working in collaboration with all genders at Tennis Canada on creating and promoting safe and inclusive experiences for women to thrive while maintaining education efforts.
- Women Leading: Achieving and sustaining gender parity in leadership roles, both across the organization and the business of tennis in Canada.
- Commercial Advancement of the Women’s Game: Striving to be best-in-class by advancing commercial investment and partnerships that directly benefit women in tennis.
- Equal Voice: Leading by example and achieving parity of voice for women and girls on our owned channels and properties, and in collaboration with our media/broadcast partners.
Specific targets for each pillar over the next five years have been set by Tennis Canada and are available on the organization’s website. Some highlights include achieving minimum of 40% of women at the board and senior management level at Tennis Canada, increasing the number of active women coaches and officials to 40% and striving to offer equal prize money and visibility to both WTA and ATP players at the National Bank Open presented by Rogers.
“Inclusion and diversity are at the heart of our corporate values. Our partnership with Tennis Canada is long term and allows us to implement actions that have a positive impact towards a more inclusive society. This commitment is the beginning of something big! To allow more women and girls to enjoy the benefits of the sport. To grow in their tennis journey. And to get the exposure and recognition they deserve. We believe in setting clear goals and working with those involved to help achieve them. It’s such a great privilege to be one of the ambassadors, to be involved in this evolution, and to actively contribute to the commitment towards gender equity in tennis,” says Lucie Blanchet, Executive Vice-President, Personal Banking and Client Experience at National Bank of Canada.
An Ambassador’s Circle for Game. Set. Equity.
Tennis Canada also announces that many key figures in Canadian tennis will join Tennis Canada’s efforts and unite to create the first Ambassador’s Circle of the Game. Set. Equity. commitment. Bringing together various women and men dedicated to achieving gender equity in our sport, this Circle includes individuals from all areas of tennis: coaches, current and retired professional athletes, members of the media, directors in tennis organizations, business leaders and community development leaders.
- – Rebecca Marino, a WTA player ranked a career-high 38th in the world
- – Carol Zhao, a WTA player ranked a career-high 131st in the world
- – Sharon Fichman, a WTA doubles player formerly ranked as highly as 21 in the world and current
Sportsnet tennis host
- – Heidi El Tabakh, Team Canada’s Captain for the Billie Jean King Cup
- – Guillaume Marx, Head of performance at Tennis Canada
- – Sylvain Bruneau, Head of Women’s Pro and Transition Tennis at Tennis Canada
- – Marie-E?ve Pelletier, National Coach for junior girls at the National Tennis Centre in Montreal
- – Stacey Allaster, Chief Executive US Professional Tennis, US Open Tournament Director and former WTA Chair and CEO
- – Jennifer Bishop, Past Chair of Tennis Canada’s board and Member of the ITF Davis Cup committee
- – Lucie Blanchet, Executive Vice-President, Personal Banking and Client Experience at National Bank of Canada
- – Michael Downey, CEO of Tennis Canada
- – Karl Hale, Tournament Director of the National Bank Open in Toronto
- – Eva Havaris, Vice-President, Tennis Participation and Partnerships at Tennis Canada and
recognized as one of the Top 25 Women of Influence in Canada for 2023
- – Andre?anne Martin, Tennis Que?bec’s Executive Director
- – Melissa Pine, Tennis Newfoundland and Labrador’s Chair of the Board and Vice-President,
Global Program Development at WTA
- – Vale?rie Te?treault, Tournament Director of the National Bank Open in Montreal
- – Gavin Ziv, Chief Tournaments Officer at Tennis Canada and WTA Board Director
“I feel very privileged to be part of this group of women and men who will strive to make gender equity the norm in Canadian tennis,” said Rebecca Marino. “Growing up and even today, being involved in tennis
has had a huge impact on my personal development and I would love nothing more than to see more women and girls get involved in the sport and benefit from the same opportunities as men and boys do.”
Full details regarding the Game. Set. Equity commitment can be found by visiting: https://www.tenniscanada.com/game-set-equity/