Singapore Sports Council And Singapore Tennis Association Launches The Singapore Ballkids Programme 2014

07 Mar 2014

Programme will see Singapore youths involved in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Championships

Singapore, 7 March 2014 – The Singapore Sports Council (SSC) and Singapore Tennis Association (STA) have jointly launched the Singapore Ballkids Programme 2014, to offer young tennis enthusiasts in Singapore, aged 13 to 16 years old, the unique opportunity to be on the same court as the world’s leading tennis players. The Singapore Ballkids Programme, which will be an annual drive from 2014, will prepare a team of ballkids for participation in future local and international tennis events. Through this Programme, youths will have the chance to be ambassadors for the sport and for Singapore at world-class events; with the first opportunity being the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Championships from 17 to 26 October this year at the Singapore Sports Hub.

2 The six-month training programme aims to enhance tennis capability development in Singapore. SSC and STA are also in discussion with Tennis Australia, organiser of the Australian Open Grand Slam, to enhance the Singapore Ballkids Programme and training plans as well as to explore collaborations in the areas of line officials exchange programmes and sport development.

3 “Top international players like Victoria Azarenka and Roger Federer were once ballkids. We hope that the Singapore Ballkids Programme will play a part to inspire Singapore’s next generation of tennis stars, even as they learn about teamwork, discipline and professionalism,” said Mr Toh Boon Yi, Chief, Strategic Development and Marketing Group, SSC. “This, and other upcoming tennis programmes and initiatives, ties in well with Singapore’s sporting Vision 2030 as it provides opportunities for capabilities development and pathways for social mobility. We are delighted to launch this meaningful programme and contribute to capability development as well as youth pathway development in tennis. We certainly hope it will allow more youths to live better through sports.”

4 Selected youths will undergo several stages of training and selection, and the Singapore Ballkids Programme’s structured skill development will train them in skills such as agility, concentration, hand-eye coordination, reaction time and ball skills. In the course of training, ballkids will develop mental strength to handle high pressure environments, build discipline, and learn to work in teams.

5 Mr Gregory Tan, General Manager of STA said, “We believe that the exposure and training from the Singapore Ballkids Programme will provide our ballkids with a deeper understanding of the game. It will impart important skills such as decision making and on-court skills, and characteristics such as respect and adaptability that are translatable beyond the sport.”

6 Sherwin Foo, 16, a current participant in the STA Full-Time Tennis Programme (FTTP) recounted his experience as a ballkid, “Being a ballkid is a privilege because it gives you the opportunity to play an important role and contribute to the game.  It has also trained me to become a more patient individual.  Some games can stretch and you just have to endure the heat and remain at your positions till the game ends.”

7 Echoing his sentiments, Shaheed Alam Meqsud Alam, 15, also a current participant in the STA FTTP, “Being a ballkid has made me a better tennis player as I have learnt to become more focused and disciplined. Also, we get to observe rituals that the players have and watch how fast the ball goes. These are things which you do not normally see on camera. Of course, my favourite part is meeting the players and seeing them live in action!”

8 Interested youths can download the application form from the STA website and send in their registration by 13 March 2014. Registered participants can head down to the Open Recruitment Drive on 15 and 16 March 2014 at the Kallang Tennis Centre from 9am-12pm.

9 For more information on the Singapore Ballkids Programme 2014, please visit www.singtennis.org.sg.

-END-

For media enquiries, please contact:

Bridgitte Lee
Senior Executive, Media Relations
Singapore Sports Council
Tel: (65) 6500 5249
HP: (65) 9711 3764
Email: bridgitte_lee@ssc.gov.sg

Gregory Tan
General Manager
Singapore Tennis Association
Tel: (65) 6295 2283
HP: (65) 9118 1589
Email: gregtan@singtennis.org.sg

About Singapore Sports Council

The Singapore Sports Council aims to transform the nation through sport, by inspiring people and uniting communities. As the national sports agency, we work with a vast network of public-private-and people sector partners to create access, opportunities and capabilities for individuals to live better through sports. As detailed in the Vision 2030 Live Better Through Sports recommendations, our mandate goes beyond driving participation and winning medals. At SSC, we use sport to create resilient, tenacious people, an appreciation for teamwork, a commitment to purpose, strong united communities and national pride.

To find out more, visit our websites www.ssc.gov.sg, www.Vision2030.sg and www.myactivesg.com
Follow us on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/SingaporeSports
For a range of photographs, visit www.flickr.com/ssc-sportsphotography

About Singapore Tennis Association

The Singapore Tennis Association is committed to promoting the continuous development of tennis and its community in Singapore. We are passionate about tennis. We aim to deliver more tennis to our whole tennis community and see the standard of tennis raised for all players. Ultimately, we strive for excellence so that Singapore tennis can compete at the highest international levels.

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