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Emma Raducanu has inspired a new programme from the LTA and Amazon Prime Video to get more young girls in Britain playing tennis. It comes after Prime agreed to simulcast Raducanu’s 2021 US Open final on Channel 4, and they have now announced that they are investing the money straight back into creating more female British tennis players.
Raducanu made history when she won the 2021 US Open, becoming the first qualifier ever to lift a Grand Slam final. Ahead of her final against fellow teenager Leylah Fernandez, Prime Video struck up a deal with Channel 4 to allow them to broadcast their coverage of the final on free-to-air TV so more Brits could watch the 19-year-old’s historic triumph.
Prime announced that the money made from the simulcast deal would be reinvested into the future of women’s tennis in Britain, and together with the LTA they have now launched a girls-only scheme aimed at getting young women to start playing tennis and stay in the sport. Raducanu was the catalyst for the new Prime Video LTA Youth Girls programme and shared her excitement to see the plan put into action.
“I’m extremely pleased to see the funds generated from the US Open Final go towards this new programme, which is a step in the right direction to bring more young girls into the sport and will continue to support a bright future for women’s tennis in this country,” she said.
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“As an ambassador of LTA Youth, it’s great to see a complimentary program take shape and hopefully bring some more success.” Raducanu herself benefitted from the LTA’s support as a junior and even returned to working with the body’s coaches earlier this year after parting ways with Torben Beltz.
The Prime Video LTA Youth Girls programme will try and capitalise on the piqued interest in tennis among young women and girls following the British No 1’s success last year by training coaches to deliver lessons specifically designed for girls after identifying the environment that motivates them to enjoy tennis.
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It comes after the LTA launched ‘She Rallies’ earlier this year, another initiative to encourage more female involvement in tennis at all levels. With the addition of the new programme funded by Raducanu’s US Open broadcast, the British tennis body’s Chief Operating Officer Julie Porter said: “The LTA is very pleased to be partnering with Prime Video on this important programme. We know from our research that there are specific interventions that can make tennis more appealing for girls.
“This programme will seek to remove barriers and provide a specially trained workforce of coaches who will work with young girls to give them the best possible opportunity. We hope that this will have a real impact on the next generation of female players.”
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