C2 Montreal Conference: Rebecca Marino defends players’ rights

Rebecca Marino remembers her first meeting with the legendary Billie Jean King, a pioneer of women’s tennis and an outspoken advocate for gender equality for decades. It was at the US Open, on her very first professional debut.

“She organized a meeting for the recruits, for the girls who started with the professionals,” says the Canadian. We could ask him any questions we wanted but of course we were all a little embarrassed! Basically, she was telling us to go after our dreams.”

“It had a huge impact on me and the other players who were there,” she adds.

Ten years have passed and on Wednesday the two women will attend the C2 conference in Montreal. Marino, 81st in the world, was invited there thanks to a partnership with Tennis Canada.

As is well known, the career of the 31-year-old athlete deserves attention. In 2013, after peaking at No. 38 in the WTA, the BC player retired and struggled with mental health issues.

Five years later, she decided to pick up her racket again. But his return to tennis elite was riddled with pitfalls: administrative problems, injuries, a pandemic…

Obstacles she overcame to climb back into the top 100 this year as she waits to continue climbing the ladder.

For the same wage

However, his visit to C2 Montreal on Wednesday, ahead of King’s, won’t just be about mental health. Marino will also speak about gender equality in tennis, a topic that is also close to his heart.

“Purses are now fair in big tournaments, which is great,” she points out. But I have the feeling that there is still a lot to do. In lower tier tournaments like the 250, the men are paid even better than the women.

“But if we compare tennis closely with other sports, I have the impression that we are at the forefront in terms of gender equality,” Marino continues. I also think there is a lot of respect between the players and the players.

Part of his story

Of course, during the conference, Marino will also reflect on his own path and the issues that plagued him early in his career.

A story that she has made it a habit to tell thanks to the good performances she has achieved in the last two years.

“I’m not in that mindset anymore. I no longer worry about my mental health. But I understand it’s part of my story, she points out. I also know that it’s very relevant now that a lot of people are talking about it.

“I find the progress I’ve had to make, the hardships I’ve had to go through to be where I am today, quite interesting. I like to talk about it because I see a lot of positive things in my journey today.

Darren Pena

Avid beer trailblazer. Friendly student. Tv geek. Coffee junkie. Total writer. Hipster-friendly internet practitioner. Pop culture fanatic.

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