We selected on merit not gender

'Placed on merit, not gender' Robin

Tennis as a sport is fortunate, as from its earliest days it has been played equally by both men and women. The Australian Open has had both a men’s and a women’s singles since 1922 and is unique in that prizemoney is equal for both. Significantly, it also includes a mixed doubles format where men and women compete equally.

However despite this, at our Association, gender inequality continued to persist at the junior level. Until the 2017 season, girls were restricted from playing the top positions in mixed teams. This meant that even when on merit a girl should have been the number 1 or 2 player in a team she could only play number 4.  This was unfair and distressing for all players, including the boys, who have an appreciation of their own comparative ability.

Sale Tennis Club has advocated strongly for complete gender equality in junior team selection and in 2016 we took a stand and played our teams on merit despite the rules of our Association.  It was important for us to set an example for both the girls and the boys in the teams and to let them know that we believed the rules of the Association were unfair and discriminatory. The positive impact of this for the individuals involved and for our Club as whole was significant.  The girls in the teams were able to see by our actions that we were serious in our stand and were prepared to back them with positive actions.  The boys also got an appreciation of the issues that were being faced and were led by strong role models emphasising equality as one of our core values.

We regard this change, for which we petitioned repeatedly, as a significant step forward for our sport. No club can ever be truly successful without women participating equally with men.

Robin

 

If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.


Thank you to our guest bloggers and community advocates for taking part in our Gender Equality Matters 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign.

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If you or someone you know is impacted by sexual assault, family or domestic violence, call 1800RESPECT on 1800 737 732 or visit www.1800RESPECT.org.au. In an emergency, call 000.