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BLTA set to stage ITF coaching course at national tennis center

Guardian Sports Reporter

Published: Sep 12, 2013

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Physical Education teachers are being encouraged to take part in a three-day international ‘Play and Stay’ tennis course, designed to increase knowledge and skill level.

Now that the schedule has been adjusted, executive members in the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) believe that more teachers will sign-up for the event that will swing into action today, at 4:30 p.m. The introductory coaching course, which will take the teachers through the basic steps in the sport, will take place at the BLTA’s National Tennis Centre.

“Adjusting the schedule was key for us and the more than 30 teachers who have registered so far,” said Derron Donaldson, president of the BLTA. “The reason for us moving the time, or adjusting it, was because the teachers will not be able to attend the course during school hours, and we wanted to accommodate them. They’ve all committed to the evening sessions, so these classes should be full.

“Each teacher will be presented with a certificate after completing the course. Since the ‘Play and Stay’ initiative is a beginner program, or more so an introduction to tennis, we wanted to use that in this course. We believe it will be very beneficial to all those who are participating. They will be taught how to hold a racket properly, the proper technique in serving and receiving as well as footwork. Basically, they will go through all the introductory steps.”

All persons interested in learning the basic rules of the sport, or in playing tennis for fun are invited to the three-day course. Those people who are actively involved already and looking to receive their level one international certification, are invited to register for the International Tennis Federation’s (ITF) Level I course, which starts on Monday.

The week-long course will also be held at the national tennis center and will be conducted by John Goede and Bradley Bain. Goede is the ITF’s Development Officer for the English-speaking Caribbean, and Bain has received his ITF Level II certification.

Donaldson said: “Those persons who will be sitting the coaching course, which will run for the entire week, will need to be there from the beginning. The reason why they have to is because they have to complete a certain amount of hours in order to get their certification. The more certified coaches we have here in The Bahamas the easier it will be for us to promote tennis.

“Our short term goal is to attract more players to the sport and take the sport into the communities. We’ve already started on this project and the results are showing, however, we want to do more. One of the long term goals is to have certified teachers and coaches in all of our islands. This way, we will be able to have more tournaments in the Family Islands and know that tennis is being played on a daily basis on these islands. We are going to get to that level soon. We are working hard toward this goal, but for now, we will continue to focus on getting as many persons as possible certified, and more Bahamians playing tennis, even if it is at the introductory level.”

The main coaching course will start at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday. Persons participating in this course will need to complete seven to eight hours per day, studying ways to teach the sport to beginners and intermediate players. Registration will close on Friday evening.

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