Roland Garros continues its endeavour to groom young talent with Amateur Tennis Tournament in Bangalore
Raw talent in sports needs hard work, commitment, dedication and years of toil to translate into victories, achievements, and trophies on the world stage.
Tennis is no exception, but any professional in the sport will vouch for the fact that while all the above factors are prerequisites for success, they hardly suffice without high-level expertise and scientific training. World class facilities and coaches are an absolute necessity without which success in grand slams and other major events is hard to come by.
International exposure and inspiration at a young age also contribute to youngsters learning the nuances early and exhibiting the same with confidence in big events without feeling overawed.
The above can be achieved by getting an opportunity to witness grand slam events abroad or better still by earning a wild card to play in one of them. The latter is a little too good to be true no doubt?
Roland Garros launches an amateur tournament in Bangalore
Not really. Roland Garros in association with the All India Tennis Association came up with a scheme which has proven to be a dream come true for several Indian kids who aspire to become the next Federer or Nadal.
The FFT (Federation Francaise de Tennis) launched their amateur tournament in Bangalore where any youngster with raw talent can register and exhibit his or her skills in the tournament. The winners will get an opportunity to travel to Paris and witness and experience the magic of the French Open which gets underway on May 21.
The tournament will be held from April 30 to May 6 at the Bowring Institute, Bangalore.
A similar tournament in Delhi accords added benefits. The winner of the India leg of the tournament will lock horns with winners of a few other countries and the ultimate winner will be gifted with a wildcard entry into the French Open Junior tournament.
Previous winners include Basil Khuma, Sathwika Sama, Adil Kalyanpur, Mahak Jain, Abhimanyu Vannemreddy and Malika Marathe.
As part of their expanded plans for India, the Roland-Garros Amateur series by Longines will be an open-for-all exhibition tournament. The players will receive AITA ranking points. The tournament is the highest tier of amateur competition in the Indian tennis circuit and will have 64 boys and 48 girls competing in the singles and 16 pairs each in the boy's and girl's doubles.
Mr. Adrien Groscolas from the International Development Team of the FFT (Federation Francaise de Tennis) addressed the media and the young aspirants in Bangalore today.
Long-term vision to realize dreams
"Everything we do, we try and do it at the grassroot level with the idea of getting the kids here, inspiring them to pick up the racquet, and training on clay courts." said Adrien explaining the fundamentals of the program. "Clay courts are definitely the best surface to train on" he opined.
The journey started in 2015 with a cooperation agreement which was signed by the AITA and the FFT. Adrien laid out his vision when he went on to state that some of the players who take part will eventually go on to become professionals, and a few might even excel at Roland Garros one day.
Sportskeeda asked Adrien Groscolas if he also envisaged getting trainers in from France and conducting training clinics to assist the kids in improving their basic skills, and this is what he had to say, "We have already done that. We had brought in coaches last year from the FFT who gave a lot of inputs to the kids and conducted clinics and workshops about how they should play on clay."
We also learnt that Train the Trainer camps were conducted last year in which local coaches were given training on the court and indoors as well with the aid of presentations.
Grassroot sport in India has challenges in terms of coaches, curriculum and culture and the program seeks to overcome these challenges and find solutions, we were told.
The initiative of the French Tennis Federation is exemplary and will no doubt go a long way in inspiring and motivating the country's future tennis superstars.