'Webinar for Coaches': AITA teams with SAI

NEW DELHI: The All India Tennis Association (AITA) and the Sports Authority of India (SAI) on Monday launched 'Webinar for Coaches' in order to help coaches utilise the coronavirus-induced lockdown period.

India is under lockdown till May 3 in order to combat the coronavirus crisis in the country.
The jointly conducted webinar was inaugurated by Hironmoy Chatterjee, secretary-general, AITA and Lalita Sharma, regional director, SAI, Sonepat.

Sharma played a key role in arranging this highly engaging and interactive learning session for tennis coaches. On the inaugural day of the 12-day long webinar, over 300 coaches from across the country participated.

It is also for the first time that the AITA has introduced an online workshop for its 2,000 plus registered coaches.

"AITA started the coach's education in the year 1999 and till to date, we have done 142 workshops. We have 2,300 AITA registered coaches and we also have 3,827 International Tennis Federation (ITF) certified coaches. This Coach's Education has been going on for a very long time and has been very successful," said Chatterjee in a statement.

"Not only that, but we have also been authorised by the ITF to certify on their behalf. So, it is an on-going process but this webinar is a unique thing. For the first time, we are going online and everyone needs to grab this opportunity. We can utilise this time. Instead of wasting the time, we should try and do something constructive," he said.

Chatterjee also thanked SAI for their partnership and 'making this initiative possible'.

"In India, we have had workshops in all the zones and now, with the help of the Sports Authority of India, this is a wonderful opportunity that we have got, to go online. We have to make the most out of it. The AITA would like to thank Sandip Pradhan, director general, SAI and Radhica Sreeman, executive director, Teams, SAI, for their partnership in conducting this webinar and making this initiative possible," he said.

Suresh Sonachalam, director, AITA Coach's Education Program, coordinated the proceedings of the webinar, while Nar Singh, Administrator, AITA Coach's Education, joined in as the next expert-in-charge and shared his knowledge about AITA and its Coaching Programs across India.

The first day of the webinar was graced by the presence of India's former national champion Davis Cup star player and now a leading tennis coach Nandan Bal.

"I think this is a fabulous battle that we are all fighting and I think we are doing that all our lives, on the tennis courts. It requires a lot of patience, self-control and I think we are going to come out of it. He urged coaches to stay in touch with students as they would be back soon," said Bal.

In the second half of the webinar, Gary O'Brien, development officer, Bengal Tennis Association, delivered a talk on 'Tennis during Lockdown' where he demonstrated and shared his wisdom on how to make do with substitute arrangements in case of space and equipment non-availability constraints.