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January 16, 2021

PTF’s National Training Centre almost non-functional

Sports

January 16, 2021

KARACHI: National Training Centre of Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) has stopped working practically due to the lack of fresh talent and advanced training.

“Practically it has been closed, though not technically. A number of players have left this academy as nothing is left there for them to learn,” said a source while talking to ‘The News’. The source added that only two or three players are left with the academy and there is a dire need to attract fresh talent with by offering advanced training.

It is to be noted that National Tennis Center (NTC) was inaugurated in August 2017. PTF president Salim Saifullah Khan vowed to develop the academy into a state-of-the-art facility with the aim of producing top quality players. But PTF failed to run it properly even for two months. “Initially, PTF hired a Turkish coach-cum-trainer at a salary of 1500 dollars a month to run this academy but he refused to come,” said the source.

Then PTF announced opening the academy with a foreign coach in the beginning of 2019. According to PTF, the NTA offers training from beginners to advanced levels. PTF recently converted old clay courts at PTF Complex into synthetic hard surfaces for the academy. PTF announced that NTC will provide the highest level of modern, competitive tennis training, as in overseas academies, with an ITF Level 3 Certified Head Coach, assisted by a team of competent, professional coaches.

It was also promised that an internationally certified physical trainer–cum–coach, with vast experience in tennis-specific fitness training will be available to players.

NTC also offered complete range of physical, mental, technical (bio-mechanical) and psychological evaluations.

When contacted, Asim Shafik, National Development Director PTF and Head Coach NTC, said that the academy is still functional. “The NTC offers three types of programmes: payment memebership, partial scholarship and full scholarship. The aim of the academy is to provide training to all the best national players. The group on full scholarship completed their training on October 31 last year,” he said.

He added that after that the players were participating in the national circuit. “We had 10 to 15 players in our scholarship programme,” said Asim. He added that the scholarships’ duration is three months. “Currently, we have around 10 players and three coaches at the academy,” he said.

The head coach added that fresh scholarships will be offered to players after the Davis Cup trials. “Most probably, we will offer scholarships from February 1,” said Asim.