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Not sticking to norm

ASHWIN ACHAL
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The KTPPA is providing a good support group to ensure that children can pay attention to the sport and their academics

THE WAY FORWARDFor the overall development of a child, sports is a must. KTPPA vows to help
THE WAY FORWARDFor the overall development of a child, sports is a must. KTPPA vows to help

In more ways than one, the Karnataka Tennis Players Parents Association (KTPPA) is a welcome departure from the norm. This group of parents recognise that a child’s overall development is shaped not just by securing high grades at school, but also through active participation in sports. They also go that extra mile by taking upon themselves the role of an administrator, in order to ensure competitive match practice.

The KTPPA was formed a year ago when the parents of young tennis players held an informal meeting at the Topspin Tennis Academy. They came to a consensus that their children were not playing enough high-level tournaments, and instead of blaming the system, sought to provide the solution themselves.

The association has since organised six officially recognised junior tournaments. To mark its first anniversary recently, the KTPPA successfully conducted its first national-level tournament, which drew some of the best players from across the country. Conducting a tournament, of course, is hard work. The KTPPA handles every little detail — booking the venues, making the draws, ensuring a smooth sign-up, roping in sponsors etc. While this adds up to the bulk of the effort, the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) also provides assistance when required.

The KTPPA acknowledges that it is more efficient to work in close cooperation with the official body, rather than to fly solo as a rebel group. This partnership was evident at the KTPPA’s anniversary function, which was held at the KSLTA Stadium earlier this month. The chief guest, educationist and real-estate baron Dayanand Pai, thrilled the gathering with a passionate speech. A self-confessed “sports fanatic”, he evoked a thunderous applause when he explained the impact of sports on his life. “I barely scraped through my engineering course in Mysore, and I can safely say that my degree does not matter much. If I am successful now, it is because of all the time I have spent on the sports field. To all the parents here, I am glad that you recognise that it is important for your children to play a sport,” he said.

Pai captured the essence of this initiative when he said: “There is no point in blaming the government or anyone else if your child does not fulfil his or her potential. You — the parents – know what is best for your child, no one else.”

ASHWIN ACHAL

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