IN an effort to reinvigorate and further develop and grow the sport of tennis in Saint Lucia, the Saint Lucia Tennis Association Inc. (SLTAI) is embarking on the revision of a number of programmes to help develop players for the sport of tennis throughout the island. Some of these programmes include the Schools Tennis Initiative Programme (STI).
Scyla Murray, Junior Tennis Initiative Coordinator says, “This initiative was first started in 1996 by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and aims to help nations introduce mini tennis in schools and clubs to children aged 6-10 years old. Currently, the SLTAI plays host to seven schools in the programme.”
The SLTAI is excited to recommence the 2017 schools programme, which started yesterday at the National Tennis Centre in Beausejour, Gros Islet. The programme is geared towards introducing the sport to players who have never played before and provides opportunities for them in the sport.
The programme is done in one of three ways. Firstly, the schools come to the National Tennis Centre and receive instructions from the coaches free of charge. Secondly, there is an outreach programme set for schools that are not in close proximity to the centre, in that the coaches go out to the schools and administer training at the school grounds or community courts nearby. Thirdly, the Tennis Association provides equipment to the schools which already have trained Physical Education Teachers.
Meanwhile, attempts are underway to bring tennis to primary schools in the south of the island.