The fifth Junior Tennis Initiative (JTI) workshop was held at the Federacion Nacional de Tenis de Campo, Guatemala City, Guatemala during 26th-29th April 2014. The workshop was specifically organised for the National JTI Coordinators and their supporting coaches from within the Central American region.
Hosted by Federacion Nacional de Tenis de Guatemala, the workshop welcomed 15 coaches, representing 8 nations from across the Central American region - these included at least one representative from Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama and Nicaragua. This workshop follows three previously held in East Africa, the Caribbean, West Africa and in Southern Africa, with the purpose to further educate the National JTI Coordinators and their supporting coaches in those nations engaged in the delivery of 14-and-under national junior development programmes around the world.
Cecilia Ancalmo, ITF Development Officer for the Central American region, said, “The JTI Workshop gave the attendees the opportunity to share their experiences, their successes and their challenges, and to learn valuable information about the philosophy behind this ITF Program and teaching goals for the 14-and-under level players. This enriching environment was possible thanks to the willingness to share by everyone in the group. Each one left the course motivated to continue improving their program, and this can only benefit the development of tennis in the Region.”
Funded by the ITF, the workshop was delivered by ITF experts Cecilia Ancalmo (ITF), Juan Pino (CUB) and Tim Jones (ITF) during the four-day gathering based at the Federacion Nacional de Tenis de Campo. Sessions covered 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 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.