The Body Serve was born in 2015 out of our shared love and frustration with tennis. It started mid-Serena Slam 2.0 as a passion project we could do together from our kitchen table, where we could talk about the stuff they usually weren’t talking about on TV. It’s been eight years of learning and unlearning, making mistakes, fighting, making jokes at the expense of tennis’ worst men, and checking our biases. We’ve got 'em (everyone does) and we’re honest about them.
James & Jonathan watching tennis in Toronto, 2019
Our motivation for doing this show has always been to show how this sport is and has always been political, and that the power relations of the real world exist here, too. It’s not just political in the sense of Arthur Ashe and Althea Gibson breaking barriers. You can see it in the decisions made on prize money, conversations about who is “good for the sport,” which countries get tournaments, who gets commentary jobs, how players organize their labour, and the anti-trans discourse seeping into the sport.
Lest you think it’s all doom and gloom, we laugh a lot and hope you’re laughing with us (laughing at us is OK too). We’re not always right but we’re gonna have a damn good time.
The Unisphere in Corona Park outside the BJK National Tennis Center, Queens NY
We’re proud to have remained independent after all these years. We have no sponsorships and no partnerships, specifically so we can talk about the topics we find interesting and stay true to the founding ethos of the show. Our only sponsors are you. We think that part of the reason people listen to The Body Serve is because we tackle challenging topics and we don’t tiptoe around them to avoid losing contracts or offending important guests. This sport is overflowing with conflicts of interest and we don’t want to exacerbate the problem by being part of them.
That said, this podcast is work. Work that we love, but work nonetheless! We devote tons of time, effort, energy, and money to making The Body Serve. Just this September, your support helped us travel to the US Open for 10 days. It helps us buy new equipment and travel to tournaments, and it allows us to remain fully independent and accountable to you, our listeners.
We’re again asking for help to fund our future. You can think of this as a tip jar: if you’ve enjoyed what we do and want to show your appreciation, here’s a way to do that. We understand that these are tough times, that inflation is running wild. Only donate if you can and want to.
Twilight at Sobey's Stadium, Rogers Cup, Toronto 2022
UPDATE: Per GoFundMe guidelines, no raffles, sweepstakes, giveaways, or promotions are offered in exchange for any donations made to this campaign.
- Lisa Flanagan
- Laura Pritchard