Tennis: ITF Junior Tennis Initiative (JTI) New equipment to boost local youth development programme |19 June 2021
The local youth development programme is on the right track and the sport’s world governing body has recognised and commended the progress, Fatime Kanté, the head of the local tennis association has said.
Ms Kanté made that declaration on Thursday, while accepting a donation of equipment from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) under the federation’s ITF Junior Tennis Initiative (JTI) – 14 & Under Development Programme.
Through the various national associations, the ITF operates a number of programmes to help member nations with tennis for junior players between the ages of 6 and 14 years old.
The ITF believes that each nation should be focusing a great deal of their activities on this age group and over the past 10 years, has developed different programmes that form part of the JTI.
Present at the ceremony were the chief executive of the National Sports Council (NSC) Jean Larue, president of the Seychelles Olympic and Commonwealth Games Association (Socga), along with Socga’s secretary general Alain Alcindor, executive committee members of the Seychelles Tennis Association (STA) and coaches.
On behalf of the STA, Ms Kanté thanked the ITF for the equipment, as well as its trust in the work being carried out by local association, as well as its trust in the potential of the young local players.
The JTI started by the ITF in 1999 encourages nations to focus on developing regular “performance training” for their best juniors in the 14 and under age group at national level and depending on resources, at regional, as well as at club level.
In addition, it gives incentives to nations to establish new tournaments for the 14 and under age group at national level, and locally, the JTI programme is run by the STA under the guidance of coach Nicolaus Leringa.
To support the programme, the ITF has the Equipment Distribution Programme (EDP), a sponsored programme which provides free equipment such as mini tennis bats, mini tennis nets, tennis rackets, transition/low compression balls, top grade balls, training balls and strings for use in the above programmes.
The level of equipment provided depends on the projects being implemented by each nation and is based on recommendations and feedback from development officers who visit the nations in their region on a regular basis.