TENNIS JAMAICA will today introduce the 'Play and Stay' methodology to teacher-training institutions, starting with Shortwood Teachers' College this morning.
The teacher-training programme is part of Tennis Jamaica's overall effort to develop the game locally and the Play and Stay drive is aimed at increasing tennis participation and centres around the slogan 'Serve, Rally, Score', as it promotes the game as easy, fun and healthy.
Play and Stay was introduced worldwide by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and involves the major tennis-playing nations (including all four Grand Slam nations), six regional associations, the Tennis Industry Association (TIA), as well as the ATP and Sony Ericsson WTA Tour.
An introductory training session was held at Shortwood previously to whet the appetite of the trainee teachers, at the request of head of department of physical education, Roy Thomas.
40 PARTICIPANTS EXPECTED
Evan Williams, a Tennis Jamaica coaching instructor, pointed out that close to 40 people participated at the introductory session and anticipates a similar number of participants for today's session.
"It'll be a one-day session," he said, noting that the local tennis governing body aims to take the programme into other institutions, as they seek to popularise the sport.
While they have not yet worked out a plan with other institutions, Williams says Tennis Jamaica is looking to take the programme into "any teaching college that we can get into", as they seek to increase numbers in coaching to teach the game.
"Tennis Play and Stay can have a big impact on tennis in Jamaica," Williams said in a release. "It promotes a simple, but strong message that can improve the way tennis is introduced by coaches and dramatically change how tennis is perceived by prospective players, particularly related to how easy it can be to start to play."
Tennis Jamaica believes that introducing the seminars and workshops in teacher training institutions will go a long way in the drive to develop young players as the graduates of these institutions will carry the skills learnt with them into the schools.
REACHING STARTER PLAYERS
The Play and Stay campaign is primarily aimed at starter players of all ages, encouraging them to use the slower red, orange and green balls in both training and competition. The campaign shows that tennis can be easy and fun if starter players use the slower balls on smaller courts.
Play and Stay strongly recommends that, except in exceptional circumstances, all children under 10 should be training and playing competition using slower balls on smaller courts.
"We strongly believe that the future for starter tennis players really is slower balls, smaller courts and easy game," added Williams.