British Women’s Tennis Association (BWTA)
In an effort to make their presence felt in a male-dominated British tennis scene. In June 1974, founders Ann Jones, Virginia Wade, and Sue Barker formed the British Women’s Tennis Association (BWTA) and eventually became successful in making their mark locally and internationally, upstaging their male counterparts. From an initial membership of 50, BWTA has grown into a 1000-strong (or even more) organization. Among its many accomplishments, BWTA prides itself most in pioneering a more equitable ranking system based on merit for British players. This ratings system is now being used by the LTA.
To date, BWTA manages a junior’s program, Tate and Lyle-sponsored doubles tournaments, Christmas tournaments, BWTA challenge, tennis parties, 100 days of tournaments throughout England and Wales for women from all walks of life, and of course, the Wimbledon. BWTA sustains itself from support given by the LTA, and other sponsorships such as Bernard & Sheila Warren and Wardray Premise Ltd.