World’s tennis governing body, International Tennis Federation (ITF), has beseeched Lawn Tennis Association of Malawi (LTAM) to establish robust programmes if the country is to produce another tennis starlet to follow in the footsteps of United States-based, Chisomo Lumeta.
ITF’s development officer for Southern Africa, Riaan Kruger, has challenged LTAM to steadfast junior tennis development programmes after realising the potential that Malawi has during his four-day fact-finding mission in the country which started on Sunday.
“It is always possible to produce good junior players. It is just about having the right structures in place, having the right support in place and making sure that there are a good number of local tournaments to give the players a chance to play the game. The players also have to play a lot of competitions in the region (Southern Africa),” he said.
Kruger is also drilling local coaches and children.
“It is very important to help the coaches build their skills so that we should have better players in the areas they are coaching,” he said.
He added that ITF would provide equipment and financial support to the junior tennis initiative programme in Malawi in order to unearth more talent.
Meanwhile LTAM president, Titani Muwalo, said the association needs assistance from stakeholders in its grassroots development programme.
“In Malawi we have tennis from the categories of Under-12, Under-14 and Under-16. We need these kids to progress and reach a professional level. ITF will help us in giving the kids knowledge so that they should know the game,” he said.
“We also need financial assistance to hold enough competitions. Our major goal is to have a lot of competitions so that we should give the young players more exposure.”