KARACHI: Pakistan is hosting the highest number of international junior tennis events in the calendar year 2021.
According to details, Pakistan is hosting seven international junior tennis events this year. Two ITF Pakistan Juniors Tennis Championships were held in February in Islamabad.
Two ATF under-14 Championships are being held this month in Islamabad and a South Asia Regional Qualifying under-13 ITF Team Competition recently concluded in Islamabad.
And two ITF international junior events (grade-5) have been allotted to Pakistan for November.
In 2017, Pakistan hosted two ATF under-14 international events in Karachi.
In 2018, Pakistan hosted five international junior events, three ITF Pakistan Juniors Tennis Championships in Islamabad and two ATF under-14 tennis championships in Karachi.
In 2019, Pakistan hosted five events, two ATF under-14 events in Karachi and three ITF Pakistan Juniors Tennis Championships in Islamabad.
In 2020, Pakistan hosted five ITF Pakistan Juniors Tennis Championships in Islamabad.
Also, the number of juniors playing the international tennis circuit from Pakistan has increased substantially since 2017.
According to International Tennis Federation’s Global Tennis Report 2021, there were five Pakistan juniors playing international circuit in 2017. The number rose to 17 in 2018 and to 27 in 2020.
The junior players are those who hold an ITF Junior World Tennis Tour ranking in a calendar year.
ITF invested approximately $42,000 in Pakistan’s Junior Tennis Initiative programme from 2014-2019.
But, total investment from Pakistan Tennis Federation was just $770 in the period. The tennis fraternity believes that the JTI is not improving as it only exists in Karachi and Lahore.
“In the case of Kashmir, tennis doesn’t exist there as there are no tennis courts/clubs. So PTF is silent about its roadmap for tennis development in Kashmir,” said an international coach while talking to ‘The News’.
He added that PTF also did not provide answers to questions about the numgber of coaches the federation hired for each city and their salaries.
Similarly, he added, the federation should state how many regional coordinators it hired and on what salaries and how many inspection trips were made by PTF officials or development officers.
“PTF also does not provide details about how much money it allocated for the programme in its seven years. Another important question is about the outcome of the programme.
“The fact is there is no allocated budget, no coaches and coordinators have been hired, and no inspections have been made to schools or cities,” said the coach.
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