Pam Shriver calls for safer coaching in tennis after telling her traumatic experience

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Pam Shriver calls for safer coaching in tennis after telling her traumatic experience

American tennis legend Pam Shriver hopes her story will lead to positive changes in tennis as she reiterated her calls for safer coaching in tennis. In a post published on The Telegraph, Shriver detailed "an inappropriate and damaging I had with my much older coach."

Shriver, 59, was 17 when her relationship with coach Don Candy began. Candy, who was 50 at the time when the relationship began, died at the age of 91 in 2020. “I don’t think tennis is unique,” Shriver told the BBC.

“I do think tennis should lead the way. “I want to see safer coaching safeguards throughout all levels of sports but obviously my story is about a developing elite athlete and the relationship became toxic and abusive, both sexually and emotionally”.

Shriver: Coaches cross boundaries way too often

“I do feel that coaches cross boundaries way too often at the expense of the athlete. [Athletes] like me don’t realise at what expense the relationship comes until a long time afterwards,” Shriver added.

“I realised patterns that had developed, just things that were set forth from that relationship that never should have happened but that’s ok, I’m ready to address it and deal with it and try and help others stop before they have the kind of relationship I had with my coach."

One of the reasons why Shriver decided to go public with her story was because she wanted to help those who are maybe going through a similar situation now. “One of the reasons I went into such detail to describe all phases of what I recall from this period of my life was to try yo have it help some athlete somewhere to realise if they are in that situation and they figure out that it is best to get out of it, that their performance will actually improve and that they shouldn’t be afraid of getting out of an inappropriate toxic absuive relationship," Shriver concluded.