Senior Sports Journalist
As part of their efforts to contribute to the development and growth of tennis in this country, Total Greatness International (TGI) organizes seminars for local coaches working with young players.
The seminars are led by Martin Rocca and Abel Rincon from TennisAid, an organization based in Spain.
The first seminar was held at the Old Hararians Sports Club on Monday and focused on the fundamentals of the sport, particularly setting the right foundations for young players by equipping them with the right skills.
Rocca and Rincon are expected to lead two more seminars in Bulawayo and Mutare today and Friday respectively.
TGI founder Takanyi Garanganga said the idea for now is for TennisAid coaches to share information with local coaches.
“We have TennisAid, a non-profit (organization) from Spain that has been commissioned by the Spanish Tennis Federation to come to Zimbabwe and help the initiatives of Total Greatness International.
“I know TGI runs tournaments all over the country. Last year we were using a data capture system to track the kids. But we knew the kids were being coached and we wanted to involve the coaches in the process. the whole process. on the development of the game.
“So we looked for links all over the world who wanted to come and help us, and the Spanish (federation) came through.
“So the goal is just to give information at this time. In the future, we will create other types of partnerships to have a more specific type of plan for them. But at the moment it is only ‘an introduction,” Garanganga said.
TGI is a non-profit organization that seeks to develop tennis in Zimbabwe and one of its focus areas is capacity building for local coaches and teachers.
Monday’s seminar drew over 30 participants from Harare, Mazowe, Masvingo and Kadoma.
Rocca said he was delighted with his partnership with TGI to promote the development of tennis in this country.
“We run seminars for them trying to work on the developing ages and then setting up programs to introduce kids to competitions, having a strong structure for tournaments, so players can develop.
“The idea is to have a strong relationship going forward to make sure the structure continues to build a bit.
“Basically, in tennis, all over the world, the developmental ages are a bit problematic because they don’t have the right coaches, not the right structures or the methodologists from the federations or the clubs.
“And coaches sometimes don’t have the information to know how to work with little kids and that’s the main problem because the fundamentals of the game, you learn them when you’re very young,” Rocca said.
Some of the attendees at Monday’s seminar shared their experiences and said such seminars would go a long way in bridging the gaps in their development efforts.
Lucia Masunda from Chitungwiza said the seminar was an eye opener.
“I learned that to produce a good player there has to be progression, you just can’t rush to play games, tournaments. You have to make sure the kid has all the qualities, kids three-year-olds, four-year-olds, you have to take it slow to make sure they grasp every concept,” Masunda said.
The seminar in Bulawayo is scheduled for today and they will hold another in Mutare on Friday.
The seminar held in Harare on Monday was graced by Tennis Zimbabwe President Biggie Magarira, Zimbabwe Olympic Committee Chief Executive Stephen Mudawarima and Harare Metropolitan Tennis Board Chairman Walter Jera.