KUCHING: The tennis development programme at Sarawak Sports School SMK Tabuan Jaya (SMKTJ) received a boost with the new intake of eight students including four girls. This brings the total number of players in the programme to 18.
The boys are Lyzander Lucious Leslie, Ryan Radcliffe Scott Mervin from Kuching, Bryan Aaron Kumbong and James Kyira Anthony from Kota Samarahan while the girls are Aurellia Vyonnesa Abel and Esmellda Esther Machau from Kuching, Hazellyn Anyun Harry from Kota Samarahan and Esther Jimmy from Bekenu, Miri.
Head coach Stevie Din, who is assisted by Ressa Billie, said the new players who have enrolled in form one classes, will learn the basics of the game first.
“Currently, we have two elite players Shlle Joseph and Hii Shieng Wee who are members of the Sarawak shadow team for Sukma Johor, six players under the centre of excellence programme and two under the Pusat Pembangunan/Pusat Cemerlang programme.
“SMKTJ, the Sarawak Lawn Tennis Association (SLTA) and the Sarawak Sports Corporation are working closely together to do development programmes for tennis under the Junior Tennis Initiatives (JTI),” he said.
Stevie, who represented SLTA and SMKTJ, attended a Zoom meeting organised by the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia (LTAM) on Friday.
The meeting, chaired by LTAM secretary Dato Sayed Alfeizal Sayed Ahmad, was also attended by LTAM development officer Muhd Zukairi Mohd Khir, ITF representative Jonathan Stubbs, and Miri Division Lawn Tennis Association representatives Ishan Han and Nur Priscilla.
Among the matters discussed was the introduction of JTI objectives and key performance indicators.
These included growing the number of age 10 and under children taking part in Tennis 10’s activity; the number of Tennis 10’s competitions and competitions entries; the number of venues hosting tennis playing sessions; the number of certified/qualified deliveries in the programme and the number of players transitioning from the JTI programme to an International Performance Player Pathway.
The meeting also had a discussion regarding the current situation on tennis development centres.