Past, present and future - the circle of tennis
WTA's various programmes boost interest in the sport and also assist current and former players
The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) was founded by Billie Jean King on the premise of equality and empowerment of women, so it is no wonder the women's tennis family is a strong and tight-knit one.
Throughout the years, we have seen so many powerful female players make their mark not just in the world of tennis but who have also used their influence to lend support to various causes transcending sport.
The WTA prides itself on not only being among the global leaders in the sports industry, but also for taking care of our own as well as giving back to the community.
Personally, I have been positively influenced by some of my idols of the sport, whom I have had the privilege to get to know through my years working with the WTA.
My admiration for Billie Jean, her energy, what she represents and what she continues to contribute after all these years, will never cease to inspire me to want to do more for the community and help young boys and girls achieve their goals on and off the court.
Through our WTA Future Stars Clinics, we have been able to reach out to underserved youths in the Asia-Pacific region and introduce them to tennis and its benefits.
To date, we have put rackets in the hands of hundreds of underprivileged children in countries like China, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.
Seeing the children's faces light up as they run after a tennis ball is a fulfilling experience, and inspires so many.
Since the inaugural BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global in 2014, we have had the honour of welcoming some legends of women's tennis here.
With 429 singles titles between them, WTA Legend Ambassadors like Martina Navratilova, Chris Evert, Arantxa Sanchez-Vicario, Monica Seles, Mary Pierce and Iva Majoli gathered here last year to engage the fans, sign autographs, take pictures, and give tennis tips to aspiring young players.
In addition to inspiring the next generation, tennis is a sport that also truly celebrates legacy, and the WTA works hard to take care of our alumnae.Melissa Pine, vice-president of WTA Asia-Pacific
In addition to inspiring the next generation, tennis is a sport that also truly celebrates legacy, and the WTA works hard to take care of our alumnae.
The WTA Alumnae & Friends Reunion happens every year during Wimbledon and provides an opportunity to celebrate the pioneers of our sport.
Presenting the Georgina Clark Mother Award is one of the highlights of this event as it recognises hardworking mothers who have contributed to the WTA Family in a significant way.
Under the WTA Charities umbrella, the Women's Tennis Benefits Association (WTBA) is a division set up within the WTA to develop initiatives to support past and present players.
One of the projects launched by the WTBA is the WTA Assistance Programme which provides funding, guidance and support to members of the women's professional tennis community who have incurred major illnesses, injuries, or met with unfortunate circumstances.
The WTA Transitions Programme was also introduced with the objective of providing an educational platform for current and alumnae players to acquire skills as well as receive career guidance.
For instance, one-on-one sessions in Business & Leadership Mentoring were offered free-of-charge to members during the recent BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells.
Tennis has provided me with so many opportunities in life that I would not have otherwise had, and I am proud to be part of an organisation that gives back.
As we continue to work on delivering yet another captivating WTA Finals this year, I am excited for what is to come and to once again touch the hearts of fans through our sport and our athletes.
Melissa Pine is the vice-president of WTA Asia-Pacific and the tournament director of the BNP Paribas WTA Finals Singapore presented by SC Global. She is also a former NCAA player at Washington State University and served as assistant coach of the team post-graduation. To find out more about the WTA Finals, visit www.wtafinals.com