The first Junior Tennis Initiative (JTI) workshop to be held in the West & Central Asia region took place during 20th-23rd September 2015. Hosted by Tennis Emirates at the Tennis & Country Club, Fujairah, United Arab Emirates, the workshop was specifically organised for the National JTI Coordinators and their supporting coaches from within the West & Central Asia region.
A total of 10 coaches representing 9 nations attended the workshop, which included at least one representative from Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Oman, Syria, UAE and Uzbekistan. This workshop follows six previously held since 2013 in East Africa, the Caribbean, West Africa, Southern Africa, Central America and Asia, with the purpose to further educate the National JTI Coordinators and their supporting coaches in those nations engaged in the delivery of 14-and-under national junior development programmes around the world. The ITF have now educated a total of 144 coaches from 64 nations across the series of seven JTI workshops organised.
Amir Borghei, ITF Development Officer for the West & Central Asia region, said, “It is fantastic to bring together so many nations from the region and to provide their national coordinators with the opportunity to be receive so much information, both on- and off-court, to assist them in developing their respective national 14-and-under programmes. There was so much enthusiasm showed from all the attendees during the four days.”
Funded by the ITF, the workshop was delivered by ITF experts Mark Tennant (GBR), Amir Borghei (ITF) and Tim Jones (ITF). Sessions delivered during the four-day gathering comprised of how to deliver simple competition formats and activity progressions for the development of the grassroots Tennis10s programmes in schools and clubs, how to educate teachers and coaches, a focus on identifying the more competent players from within a programme, high performance based training for the most talented 12/14-and-under performance players, and advice on how to improve administration skills off court and generate further income to support the national programmes.
The JTI is a 14-and-under junior development programme funded by the ITF, which forms the foundation of a National Association’s player development pathway in ITF member nations. The programme is overseen by the National Tennis Association and provides opportunities for increased participation in tennis, as well as identifying the most talented players for focused player development. The JTI incorporates four key elements, Tennis10s development (10-and-under tennis) within primary schools and clubs; Junior Tennis (children 12-and-under & 14-and-under) within all the secondary schools and clubs; Junior Performance Tennis for the most talented; and the effective use of equipment such as balls, bats and rackets, provided by the ITF.