Photo: Tim Jones, ITFThailand JTI Workshop
The sixth Junior Tennis Initiative (JTI) workshop was held at the Thailand National Tennis Centre, Bangkok on 14-17 July 2014. The workshop was specifically organised for the National JTI Coordinators and their supporting coaches from within the Asia region.
Hosted by Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand, the workshop welcomed 24 coaches, representing 13 nations from across the Asia region - these included at least one representative from Bhutan, Cambodia, Lao, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, Turkmenistan, Vietnam and Uzbekistan.
This workshop follows five previously held in East Africa, the Caribbean, West Africa, Southern Africa and in Central America, 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.
Suresh Menon, ITF Development Officer for the Asia region, said: “The JTI Workshop has very much energized the attendees and the enthusiasm showed will no doubt be taken back to their respective nations and be passed to the other coaches working in their national programmes.”
Funded by the ITF, the workshop was delivered by ITF experts Mike Barrell (GBR), Suresh Menon (ITF) and Tim Jones (ITF) during the four-day gathering based at the Thailand National Tennis Centre.
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.
On how the workshop will impact the national programme in Cambodia, National JTI Coordinator Braen Aneros stated: “We have a very good idea of the changes that we need to make. We have learnt that we are doing some very positive things in our programme but we have also learnt that we need to make changes in order to develop more better players, especially at a competitive level.”
National JTI Coordinator for Uzbekistan, Igor Shelyakin said, “I will take many ideas way from this workshop that I will be able to share with the coaches working on the programme within my country. The workshop have been very successful and the experts have been excellent in sharing great ideas about junior tennis development.”
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.