Photo: Tim Jones, ITFCoaches observing demonstration during Togo JTI Workshop
The Fédération Togolaise de Tennis played host to the third Junior Tennis Initiative (JTI) workshop, specifically organised for the National JTI Coordinators and their supporting coaches from within the West, Central and Northern African region.
Taking place at the National Tennis Centre in Lomé, Togo, a total of 24 coaches were in attendance, representing seven nations - Benin, Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Cote d’Ivoire, Nigeria and Togo. Six workshops are to be coordinated by the ITF in key regions around the world up until April 2014. The purpose of the workshops is to further educate the National JTI Coordinators and the supporting coaches in those nations engaged in the delivery of 14-and-under national junior development programmes.
Rotimi Akinloye, National JTI Coordinator for Nigeria commented: “We have received the education and the tools during this last four days and now it is in our hands to make a difference in our own nations. It has been a fabulous week and I am very happy to have been involved in a very inspirational workshop.”
Hosted by the Fédération Togolaise de Tennis, the JTI workshop was funded through the International Olympic Committee’s Olympic Solidarity Commission funding programme, while supported by the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Togo and by the ITF. The sessions delivered by ITF experts Tim Jones (ITF), Laurent Verecelli (FRA) and Amine Ben Makhlouf (ITF) during the four-day workshop comprised of how to deliver simple competition formats and activity progressions for the development of the grassroots Tennis10s programmes in schools and clubs, talent identification and high performance based training / conditioning for the most talented 12/14-and-under performance players, and advice on how to improve administration skills off court and generate further income to support the national programmes.
The JTI is a 14-and-under junior development programme funded by the ITF, which forms the foundation of a National Association’s player development pathway in ITF member nations. The programme is overseen by the National Tennis Association and provides opportunities for increased participation in tennis, as well as identifying the most talented players for focused player development. The JTI incorporates four key elements, Tennis10s development (10-and-under tennis) within primary schools and clubs; Junior Tennis (children 12-and-under & 14-and-under) within all the secondary schools and clubs; Junior Performance Tennis for the most talented; and the effective use of equipment such as balls, bats and rackets, provided by the ITF.