The International Tennis Federation’s new-look Annual Conference and AGM was formally opened by President David Haggerty on Tuesday.
President Haggerty outlined his vision for the future of the ITF in his opening address, explaining the five key points at the heart of his strategy, including a significant investment in the development of tennis.
Working for Nations
- Every nation would have a voice
- No nation would lose money participating in Davis Cup and Fed Cup
- Development investment would increase significantly
- Collaboration with allied partners would improve
- There would be growth for all nations, secured through new initiatives and partnerships
He said: “It is with immense pride that I stand before you today as the International Tennis Federation’s 26th president; elected by you, to work for you and on behalf of you.”
President Haggerty explained the reason for changing the way the AGM is hosted in an attempt to make the whole event more accessible and to provide more opportunities for views to be shared.
“This week will not just be about us talking to you,” he said. “There will be interactive sessions, open committee meetings, question and answer opportunities and socializing and networking with member nations, the board and staff.”
He said that he intended to do even more to encourage better attendance and engagement with member nations in future.
“Every nation has a voice within the ITF,” said President Haggerty. “We now have 60 nations represented on ITF Committees and Commissions, an increase of over 50 per cent from 2015, all of whom are able to lend their expertise to the projects we run.
“We have 35 additional members of committees and four new taskforces, which ensure that even more of your views are heard.”
President Haggerty told the delegates that investment in the development of tennis was a key way in which the ITF should judge its success.
“Tennis changes lives and our Development efforts give opportunity to youth that they would never have,” he said. “That is why I have put Development at the very heart of our new ITF 2024 strategy. And it is why we have revised the way in which we allocate our spending to ensure that more funds can be invested where they are needed most and by those who deserve them most.”
In 2017, the ITF plans to increase development spending by $2 million, to $7.8 million. In 2018 they will raise that again by a further $2 million.
“That’s four million dollars of new money invested in development projects around the world,” said Haggerty. “Four million dollars made available to you, the nations. Four million dollars to help strengthen our sport together.”
ITF Director of Tennis Development Luca Santilli provided an update on the Development strategies that have been devised to deliver its core objectives. These are based on increasing participation and developing talented players, and include strengthening of regional and international circuits and team competitions, and introducing coach certification.
Other topics discussed on Tuesday included the ITF Pro Circuit, Junior Tennis, Wheelchair Tennis, Rules of Tennis and an ITF Finance Review