Snowflakes that turn into snowballs – Judy Murray on the collective power of women in business

By Juliet Herd | 04 Dec 2019 | Sport

Pioneering tennis coach Judy Murray OBE accepted the NatWest everywoman Award in London on Tuesday

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* Award winner Judy Murray OBE

Pioneering tennis coach Judy Murray OBE likened women to “snowflakes” as she accepted an award at the NatWest everywoman Awards ceremony in London on Tuesday 3 December. “They usually float around and disappear. But if they come together, they make a snowball and a snowball can do a lot of damage,” she declared to loud applause. 

Former Scottish international player Murray was announced winner of the Spirit of everywoman Award for her “relentless belief” in the potential of women in sport and her commitment to making sport accessible to all. “It’s inspiring to be in a room with so many like-minded and successful women,” she told the audience of female entrepreneurs. “Women show much more willingness to network and share than men.”

She recalled taking up coaching in her hometown of Dunblane when her sons, tennis champions Andy and Jamie, were small because she’d given up her job and “felt quite trapped” at home. “I discovered I had a huge passion for teaching."

Murray, 60, who was one of the first women to pass the LTA’s Performance Coach Award, the highest-level LTA qualification, also spoke of the sexism she encountered in the male-dominated profession. >>

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* Award winner Lulu Guinness OBE

When Murray was accepted on a coaching course in England, she was told she was lucky to have been chosen because they’d had to “turn a lot of men away” and “what could she possibly offer when she had two kids and came from Scotland, which doesn’t really do tennis”. “And then I went into F-you mode,” she said, revealing where her tennis champion sons get their fighting spirit from.

Murray was one of ten entrepreneurial women honoured for outstanding achievements in their respective industries at the JW Marriott Grosvenor House hotel event. Another recipient was fashion designer Lulu Guinness OBE, who received the everywoman Ambassador Award for playing a positive role in encouraging more young women to excel. “When I started, I tried to be myself,” said Guinness, whose brand motto ‘Dare to be Different’ resonates as much with women today as it did back in 1989. “I am just thrilled to have won this award.”

Samantha Cameron, founder of fashion brand Cefinn and wife of former prime minister David Cameron, was also up for an award for Brand of the Future, but lost out to Charlotte Ferguson, whose skincare company DISCIPLE has grown by more than 500% since 2018, selling a multi-use CBD oil that tackles the effects of stress, anxiety and depression on the skin.

Go to everywoman.com/ewawards for the full list of awards

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