The intake at children's tennis camps is increasing each year
Amidst shrinking lung space and dwindling playgrounds, parents now scout around for sports camps to keep their children occupied productively during the long summer break.
Though cricket and swimming remain evergreen favourites, another sport is growing rapidly in popularity within private sport academies: tennis. Parents feel that tennis, being an individual sport, holds more promise than cricket, and is good for all-round fitness.
“There has been a good response this summer,” says Shashikanth Kanbargimath, director of the KIMS Tennis Academy. KIMS conducts summer camps for beginners, intermediate and advanced players at Cox Town and venues in Banaswadi, Domlur and Mahila Seva Samaja (in V.V. Puram).
Krishnakumar of Kinessi Tennis Centre also reports a 40 per cent jump in the intake of tennis trainees. This technocrat-turned-USPTR coach attributes this trend to the demand for scientific and professional coaching.
Tennis Excellence on Hennur Road, run by young players-turned-coaches, Arjun Goutham, Aditya Madkekar and Divyanshu Singh, has also see an appreciable increase.
“We had more girls joining this time. Besides coaching the beginners, we also conduct regular programmes for 20 players who participate in the AITA junior circuit,” says Divyanshu.
The trainees, besides honing their skills in the game, also get tips from a mind trainer, nutrition experts and get topnotch medical care for possible sports-related injuries.
On the flip side, the growth of private academies seems to have had an adverse impact on the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) summer camp, as the number of trainees have come down from 80 last year to 60 today.
“With camps in their neighbourhood, parents prefer to put the kids in nearby centres rather than come all the way to KSLTA,” says chief coach Niranjan Ramesh. KSLTA camps are held at its stadium in Cubbon Park and at Sree Kanteerava Stadium courts.
While the growth in tennis camps are indeed a positive development, the KSLTA would do well to regulate them and ensure that only camps run by reputed academies and trained coaches are recognised.