-35 Schools Targeted
The Liberia Tennis Federation (LTF) has formally launched its “Junior Tennis Initiative (JTI)” program in Gardnersville to conduct Training of Trainers sessions for Physical Education (PE) instructors and coaches of schools, as a way of decentralizing the game.
In the past, the LTF’s only focus was in central Monrovia and on at least 12 schools, with children 14 and under.
The first session of the TOT tennis trainee is being held on the main campus of Noah’s Ark School, located on Barnesville Road. It began on Monday, March 21 , and will end on Friday, March 25.
Nine PE instructors and coaches (8 males and a female), who are participating in the week-long training, are from four schools, namely Dujar, St. Peter’s Redeemer’s Academy and the host, Noah’s Ark.
Some of the participants are James P. Johnson, C. Amos Y. Cooper, Mark F. Willie, Abraham Wesseh, Alex Gweh, T. Fumba Kollie and Andrew L. Wilson.
The Technical Director of LTF Coach Alfred Kandakai, who is also the lead facilitator, told journalists that the TOT training will contain basic knowledge of tennis as well as some exercises and general drills, including mobility, handling, reception, projection, cooperation, and opposition.
The international tennis coach said at the end of the training each successful school will receive 10 junior rackets, six mini bats, one mini net and 50 sponge balls (stage 1).
“We have limited tennis coaches and in order to take tennis into the schools, we need to train PE teachers and coaches, who will train the children as we routinely supervise,” Coach Kandakai said.“This is the first time to launch the JTI program in six years in Gardnersville. We have started with four schools but we have targeted 35 schools to carry the JTI program.”
He further said: “We have called on the Ministry of Youth and Sports to increase our budget to take tennis to the schools in Montserrado County and thereafter, in other counties. We are also appealing to the Liberia National Olympics Committee to help us to realize this initiative.”
Meanwhile, the JTI development is aimed at enabling countries to establish 14 and under junior players.