By Sanna Jallow
The Gambia Lawn Tennis Association has commenced a five-day training for tennis players and coaches. The training focuses on improving their participation at both national and international levels.
The five-day training is designed to give tennis players and coaches the opportunity to interact with Louis De Sousa who is a tennis consultant from the International Tennis Federation.
Saul Frazer, the President of the Gambia Lawn Tennis Association said when they took up the new board, they felt it was necessary to start from the ground as it came to their notice that the Gambia is banned from the international arena for almost 9 years, including the Confederation of African Tennis and the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
“We cannot renew our International Tennis Federation membership if we Can’t renew the confederation for African tennis and we have a way forward to renew our membership,” he explained.
Mr Frazer stated that the main objective of bringing Mr De Sousa for the training is to help them assess the facilities on the ground and for him to give advice and guidance on the way forward.
“We want to build tennis in the Gambia from the grassroots level and get people to play tennis, especially the young ones because it will be an alternative for them, the Gambia is a nation of sport but not everybody can play football”, he said.
He assured the tennis players that this will not be the only training they will have but they will keep on bringing trainers that have more experience in tennis to help them develop their games.
Luis De Sousa, a Tennis Consultant at the International Tennis Federation said he was invited by the President of the Gambia Tennis Association for a five-day training to see how they can develop tennis in the Gambia.
“I am going to train the tennis players and coaches too to see how we can corporate. The players are improving,” he said.
Julius Freeman, Vice President of the Gambia Lawn Tennis Association said the training is to help them identify the best tennis players in the country and also guide the coaches to improve their performance.
“We will also train the tennis coaches to see how we can improve their knowledge of tennis and the skills they did not have before”, he mentioned.
Yankuba Dramneh, a tennis coach with over two decades of experience in playing tennis, said the training is significant as it will enhance their better performance in tennis.
“It has been a very long time since we have a session like this with a tennis consultant”, he said.