Love-All, Play as ActiveSG launches Tennis Academy
03 Jul 2016
ActiveSG officially launched the ActiveSG Tennis Academy today, offering greater opportunities for Singaporeans of all ages to pick up and play the sport.
The Academy is part of ActiveSG’s ongoing efforts, as a national movement for sport, to introduce a series of clubs and academies aimed at creating accessible options for Singaporeans to play and realise their fullest potential in a sport. Tennis is the fourth sport to be launched this year, following Football, Athletics and Basketball.
Said ActiveSG Chief Lai Chin Kwang, “We are pleased to introduce Tennis into our family of academies. The Academy is for all levels and is designed with a pathway to meet the interests and aspirations of everyone, from the recreational player, to the talented youngster with dreams of representing our country in international competitions and turning professional.”
Technical Director and Visiting Regional Coaches
Robert Davis, an experienced coach on the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) circuit, has been appointed as the Technical Director of the Academy. Davis brings with him a deep understanding of the Southeast Asian Tennis culture, having worked with top players from the region including 2006 Asian Games Singles champion Danai Udomchoke of Thailand as well as Indonesia’s Christopher Rungkat and Lavinia Tananta (SEA Games 2011 Men’s and 2009 Women’s Singles champions respectively.)
Davis will oversee the development of the guiding framework and pathway plan for the academy, including the recommendation of regional coaches. Udomchoke and Tananta have been confirmed together with Thanakorn Srichaphan - owner of the Srichaphan Tennis Academy in Thailand - as the first visiting regional coaches for the Academy.
The visiting regional coaches will work closely with the local coaches and players, sharing their experiences and imparting their knowledge and winning mentality.
Davis added that the objectives of the Academy go beyond just getting more people to play Tennis. He said, “The ActiveSG Tennis Academy is also about our coaches imparting important life skills. Tennis, like any other sport, has the ability to teach our young important values such as discipline, respect and teamwork and that will be a key feature throughout our Academy.”
Pilot Programmes and Sport Ambassador
Ahead of the launch, the Academy had already started pilot programmes such as Mini Tennis and begun partnering with the Singapore Tennis Association (STA) in working with Team Singapore players in their preparations for major competitions such as the Federation Cup and Davis Cup.
Singapore’s number one female player, Stefanie Tan is one such beneficiary. The 23-year-old recently won her first ITF Pro Circuit Women’s Singles and Doubles titles at the Baku F2 tournament in Azerbaijan in June and broke into the WTA rankings for both Singles (856) and Doubles (894).
Stefanie will be a Sport Ambassador for the ActiveSG Tennis Academy, joining former and current Team Singapore players to give back to the community and help to mentor and guide the next generation of players.
Programmes begin from 9 July
The ActiveSG Tennis Academy will kick off with the Mini Tennis (Weekend) programme for children 5-12 years old at more than 10 School Indoor Sports Halls from 9 July. Targeted at children looking for an easier introduction to Tennis, Mini Tennis is a modified form of the sport using shorter racquets and low compression balls on smaller courts.
The Junior and Youth Developmental Zonal Academies will follow in the fourth quarter this year at two locations – Kallang and Yio Chu Kang Tennis Centres – before expanding to include Farrer Park Tennis Centre in 2017.
The Junior Academy targets youngsters from the ages of 7 to 12 while the Youth Academy caters to the next age group from 12 to 16.
Adults looking to play tennis are not left out too. Anyone from the age of 17 can join the Adult Tennis Group where you can learn the basics of the sport and progress to playing both recreationally and in organised competitive and team-based competitions for various playing levels.
Working with Singapore Tennis Association on High Performance
The ActiveSG Tennis Academy will also be working closely with the Singapore Tennis Association (STA) to train and prepare our National Players for international competitions such as the Davis Cup, Federation Cup as well as Major Games such as the SEA Games.
Singapore’s most talented players will come under the Academy where they will be exposed to a high performance training environment with a strong support system from the Singapore Sports Institute. They can look forward to periodic centralised training camps both locally and overseas to prepare for international competitions.
Technical Director Davis said, “We are aiming to bring up the level of Singapore Tennis to be competitive at the highest levels of the sport, whether it’s the team events such as Davis and Federation Cups or to compete for medals at the SEA Games. In time, we hope to see more players acquire points on the International Tennis Federation circuit, eventually moving on to both the ATP and WTA circuits.”