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TJ organises coaching workshops
Kwesi Mugisa, Sports Reporter
TENNIS JAMAICA (TJ) hopes to use an Olympic solidarity grant secured through the Jamaica Olympic Association (JOA) to propel the sport forward, beginning with improved qualification levels for the country's coaches.
A level-two coaching workshop funded by the grant will be conducted by Surinamese John Goede and assisted by national technical director Douglas Burke and begin in Montego Bay at the Tryall Club from October 13-25 before moving to the Eric Bell Tennis Centre in Kingston from October 27-November 8.
The aim of the one-month course, which will begin with tutorials, will be the training and certification of well-qualified, high-level local coaches able to teach the game to intermediate and advanced players.
"From our perspective, this is a stepping stone to the creation of local tennis academies. For too long, we have had to export our student athletes in order for them to hone their skills in foreign academies and universities," said general secretary of TJ, Christine Gore. "Not only is it an expensive proposition that provides no local employment, but in most cases the child grows up overseas and ultimately stays there."
Phillip Gore, president of TJ, was quick to point out that the coaching clinic fell within broader plans, which the organisation hopes will push the game to the next level.
According to Gore, in addition to better coaches, the organisation will continue its focus on support for athletes already on scholarships and emphasise widening and improving the school programme and infrastructural development.
"We have been spending a lot of time investing heavily in expanding our school programme, after all , this is where the future stars will come from," Gore said. "Of course, many still hold the view that tennis is an elitist sport, this isn't the case, and we have been working towards dispelling that."