Best practices - Past events
Solidarity Scheme training camp in London
Tennis Europe recently organized a fourth Solidarity Scheme Training Camp for players aged 14 & Under. The training camp took place from 12 – 16 February at the National Training Centre of the British Lawn Tennis Association. A total of five countries that are in Development program attended the five day event - 5 boys, 5 girls and 5 coaches from Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Turkey. The training camp was supervised by Tennis Europe expert Goran Shevchenko, hosted by LTA with financial support from the Solidarity Scheme.
All of the coaches and players engaged in two working sessions per day, focusing on technical, tactical and physical topics, as well as looking at individual needs. Physical training and tennis practice was organized in the mornings, and in the afternoon the players worked on more open situations and match practice. The intensity of the practice was very high and the players enjoyed the program.
Summarising the event, Goran Shevchenko commented; “We had players with high and equal tennis level with great motivation to work hard and the coaches that could perfectly answer on all the tasks. This was a very good chance for the players and their coaches to work in one of the best facilities in Europe, and in an excellent and positive environment to improve, develop their game and to play with/against the best players from the other countries.”
Icelandic player training camp in Norway
Tennis Europe and the ITF in cooperation with the Norwegian Tennis Association recently conducted a training camp for the Icelandic Tennis Association 13 and under team at the headquarters of the Norwegian Tennis Federation in Oslo Tennis Arena.
The Icelandic players in the trip were five girls and one boy all 13 and under: Anna Soffía Grönholm, Sofia Sóley Jónasdóttir, Sigurjón Ágústsson, Hekla Maria Olivier, Melkorka Pálsdóttir, Sara Lind Þorkelsdóttir. Along with them was their coach Jón Axel Jónsson and Jónas Páll Björnsson, the General Secretary of the Icelandic Association. Oivind Sörvald, Sports Chief and Aslak Paulsen, Player Development Officer, were responsible for the program on behalf of the Norwegian Tennis Federation.
The players got a lot of practice with the Norwegian players and were delighted to get the opportunity to play and train against new players. Aslak and Oivind were also on the court with the team, where Oivind took the opportunity to conduct video analysis of all the players.
To finish off their trip, all of the visiting players took part in tournaments in Stabekk and at the Oslo Tennis Arena where they got to play a number of matches against Norwegian players, giving them important competitive match experience.
The Icelandic kids, Jón Axel and Jónas all agreed that all the coaching and the trip as a whole was both highly enjoyable as well as instructive, and that the video analysis had given them a new perspective on their games.
ITF/Tennis Europe Development Officer Hrvoje Zmajic said, “This is a great example of a bilateral cooperation between two federations. Herewith, I would like to express special thanks to the Norwegian Tennis Association for organising this training and competition for the promising Icelandic players. Due to their geographical position, players from Iceland can feel quite isolated from the rest of Europe and can greatly benefit from the opportunity to travel in a group and test themselves against new opposition. We hope that the two federations will extend their cooperation in the future.”
Youth in Action
The Bulgarian Tennis Federation (BTF) organised a two-day ‘Youth in Action’ seminar in Sofia in November of 2013, with the aim of educating ‘tomorrow’s directors’ of the sport. ‘Youth in Action’ is a Tennis Europe project initiated by the organisation’s president, Jacques Dupré and is held with the support of EPAS (Enlarged Partial Agreement on Sport).
Sixteen delegates were in attendance for this first seminar, and came from all six of Bulgaria’s regions to take part. Many of them were former players and are currently working as coaches or studying at the National Sport Academy or at other universities.
The delegates, EPAS representative Marko Begovic and Tennis Europe President Jacques Dupré were met by BTF President Stefan Tzvetkov at a welcome dinner at the Bulgarian National Tennis Centre prior to the main event.
The meeting itself was divided into six sessions, each of which looked at a distinct matter relating to the administration of the sport. Mr. Dupré opened the meeting’s first session, outlining the objectives of the project before giving the floor to the international speakers.
The first day looked at club projects with speaker Jean Wallach before Melanie Maillard turned to the topic of ethics in sport and corruption.
Day two saw Camille Mauduit focus on the successful administration and organisation of sporting events before Ms. Maillard returned to the floor to advise on continuous training and resistance to changes.
Mr. Dupré explained the reasons for his close personal involvement with the project, “As administrators, we spend a great deal of time providing opportunities for young people to participate in our sport. Some of these players will never be champions, but Tennis Europe believes that that sports administration can provide an opportunity for people to put their passion for sport into practice, and to remain in their chosen world throughout their professional careers. I’d like to thank the Bulgarian Tennis Federation for being so proactive in this area, and I have no doubt that they will see long term benefits from this project. I very much encourage other federations to follow suit.”
Tennis Europe - French Tennis Federation - African Tennis Federation Agreement
The Presidents of Tennis Europe, the African Tennis Confederation (CAT) and the French Tennis Federation (FFT) signed a proclamation of agreement at Roland Garros on Wednesday 4th June.
Jacques Dupré, Tarak Cherif and Jean Gachassin were joined by International Tennis Federation President Francesco Ricci Bitti for the meeting, where they pledged to work together on a long-term basis in order to improve the development of tennis in Africa and Europe.
The FFT has committed to sharing knowledge and human resources to assist with the project, particularly in the area of education of coaches, eachers and managers. The three organisations will work together on training camps for male and female players, as well as other specific projects.
Photo: The presidents meeting at Roland Garros on June 4th.
Cooperation between Swiss Tennis and African Tennis Federation
To participate in a continental Masters is a great experience in itself. But if the Masters takes place on another continent altogether, it is even more unique and will long be remembered by the 12 young African tennis talents who had qualified for the African 14 & Under Masters. The event took place from 20 – 23 November at the Swiss Tennis National Tennis Center in Biel, Switzerland. The cross-continental collaboration was initiated by Swiss Tennis President René Stammbach and Hichem Riani, Director of the Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) during the ITF Annual General Meeting in Copenhagen this summer and serves as an example of the type of international solidarity project between federations that Tennis Europe has been encouraging its member nations to undertake for many years.
Mr. Stammbach and Mr. Riani agreed that the national champions and finalists from Benin, Burundi, Ivory Coast, Egypt, Ghana, Madagascar, Morocco, Mauritius and South Africa would travel to Switzerland, train for a few days at the Swiss Tennis Academy, play their Masters and then participate in a nearby local tournament in order to compete with Swiss talents their age as kind of a special training.
The intensive training certainly paid off for the young Africans: Zeineb El Houari (Marocco) and Calvin Jordaan (South Africa) not only claimed the titles as the African 14 & Under Champions but went also on to win the junior tournament in Switzerland, beating other players from their delegation in the finals.
Issem Essaïs, Head of Delegation at CAT, was more than pleased with the group’s success and the visit to Switzerland in general, saying; “Our week here at Swiss Tennis was amazing. We were warmly welcomed and they made the stay in Roger Federer’s home country for our players unforgettable – the academy and the organisation were impeccable, just like Switzerland itself.”
The players were equally delighted with their stay, even though they had one complaint: “It is very beautiful here, but also very cold!” Asked about their goals the answers of the African players did not vary much from the Swiss ones: to travel the world, develop their game and one day reach the Top 10 in the world. René Stammbach and Issem Essaïs agreed that “Swiss and African youngsters do not differ much when it comes to their sports attitude. More important than the country you are from is anyway the education and personality – and only if you work hard will you reach the top, regardless of whether you live in Africa or in Switzerland!”
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