Sport EnglandTennis Clubmark

Press Reports

Women step up battle to play in men's league

TENNIS by Jackie Thorley

The success of a campaign to allow women's teams to compete in the City and Suburban men's league hinges on a crucial vote tonight. Delegates from clubs in North Staffordshire will decide at the league's annual meeting whether to give the scheme the green light or reject it. The proposal to incorporate women's sides into the men's set-up is being put forward by the reigning champions, Basford.

Captain Karen Dobson said: "The ladies' competition has been declining for some years, down from two leagues to only one and for the 2007 season there were only four clubs and five teams competing." Basford are concerned the league will not survive in its current format and hope to persuade the men to throw them a lifeline. "I do not underestimate the likelihood of some clubs being unhappy with such a proposal," she added. "However, perhaps the City and Suburban League could be a bit of a trailblazer in this, as they were in the 1940s and 50s when the league first got off the ground. "Otherwise I foresee a continuing demise in local ladies' tennis, which would be a great shame." Even if the proposal is given the thumbs up, league secretary Raj Bandha warns that women may have to wait until next year before joining the men's divisions. "I am not sure there would be enough representatives attending an annual meeting to decide such an important issue," said Bandha. " I think this may have to go to a full ballot. And there is a possibility that we would need to get clearance from the LTA first."

Sentinel, 19 February 2008
Courtesy of The Sentinel News & Media

Read preceding article.
Read next article.