Tennis Canada is already recognized as one of the sport federations most involved and concerned about the promotion of gender equality in Canada. The organization wanted to do more to lead the way, launching the “Game. Set.” Equity. because “it has become a priority”.

This new initiative proposing targets to be achieved within the next five years will be officially unveiled on Tuesday, learned La Presse.

According to the official statement, it is an “ambitious and holistic strategy on how the federation will advance equity for women and girls at all levels at Tennis Canada”.

Concretely, “the ultimate goal is that in all areas, whether it’s participation among young people, the number of officials or coaches, we finally arrive at 50-50,” said Valérie Tétreault, manager of the National Bank Open in Montreal.

The work is already well underway for the federation. In January, Terri Temelini became the Director of Women’s Advancement at Tennis Canada. A full-time position, intended exclusively to “grow women’s tennis in the country,” says Tétreault. It shows how much of a priority it has become for us.”

Sylvain Bruneau, Head of Women’s Tennis and Transition at Tennis Canada, has been around for ages. That’s why he knows how to recognize the light.

“I think there is a great desire to have more female coaches in all areas at Tennis Canada. New people come into the organization. »

The proposed five-year plan is defined by five main lines: increasing participation; provide a “fair, inclusive and safe” experience; increase the number of women in decision-making positions; increase the amount of trade agreements to do more promotions; and emphasize the voice of women in the various communication campaigns.

“Many things will make our success tangible,” said Eva Havaris, Vice President of Engagement and Partnerships at Tennis Canada.

In five years, it will be possible, she assures, to measure the repercussions of the program put in place today, even if the main lines are in themselves rather general.

“The number of women in leadership positions. In the office or in the field. It’s been proven that the more women you have to help on a technical level, the better it is for young girls, who need role models to know that it’s possible to have a career in the world of sport,” explains- does she in the first place.

Second, “there are several community organizations on the ground doing great things. So we want to provide resources to these organizations so they can continue to develop programs to help the future of women’s sport.”

Then, she goes on to focus on the week of the tournament: “That’s where everyone is watching us. We want more women as volunteers, as employees. We want to put forward as many women as possible. »

Tennis Canada has been blessed in the past decade with the rise of Eugenie Bouchard, Bianca Andreescu and Leylah Fernandez. Three proofs of the success of the federation.

However, it also stands out for its ability to bring together women in key management positions, such as Tétreault and Havaris.

“It’s essential, because if you’re going to have a speech, you have to take action accordingly,” Bruneau points out. From his perspective, “there really is a desire to be in 2023, and even to be ahead. […] It’s positive and I see the difference it makes.”

Since taking office, Havaris has advocated a pragmatic approach. According to her, the more women there are, the more role models there will be. “It’s impossible to reach your full potential if you don’t give everyone the chance to reach it. This is why young girls need to see women “from bottom to top of the pyramid, from players to leaders.”

Afterwards, when young girls see that it is possible to earn a living and make a difference through tennis, “you also have to allow women to stay involved in the sport, no matter what,” says Tétreault.

She recalls “not so long ago” there was only one woman on the management team. “And here we are at 50-50. »

She also makes it clear that hiring a woman “isn’t just about ticking a box.” Rather, it’s to “seek a point of view that may be different.” I honestly think we’re a better organization now that we have this diversity within our leadership team.”