Through Melissa’s experiences of creating world-class tennis events and building a youth development program across 26 countries, empowering girls to find a pathway through sport, she highlighted the necessity for relatability and empathy as key foundations for fostering success within teams and from within the ambassadors of the program;
Melissa referenced the birth of the WTA almost 50 years ago when Billie Jean King (BJK) confronted the prejudice experienced as a woman playing tennis in a man’s world and her determination that women be seen as an equal in sport. The tenacity and resilience that BJK was required to engage in the face of considerable adversity (and she has continued to teach) were key to her successfully achieving her goal.
Particularly relevant to our current climate – Melissa cited some examples from her own experiences as both an elite tennis player, coach, and sport business executive to highlight how important it is to improvise and adapt when managing the complex and diverse requirements of different stakeholders and unforeseen circumstances.
Finally, Melissa referenced the power of tennis (or any other sporting or physical activity) as a professional and personal life skill. “Sport requires mental strength and teaches you not only how to win but more importantly how to lose”.