Tennis taken to BBMP schools

For 2,000 children from 50 Palike-run schools, it was an occasion to get a feel of the game of tennis and use high speed broadband Internet for the first time, at the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA) stadium in the City.

The occasion was the launch of  the International Tennis Federation’s  (ITF)‘Play Tennis,’ an initiative aimed at providing all BBMP schools with free internet connectivity and  empower the underprivileged children with cutting edge technology.

The project also aims at making the game of tennis accessible to them, with shorter rackets and softer balls which provide a scientific way for a child in the 5-12 year age group to learn tennis. The event was jointly organised by BBMP, Atria Convergence Technologies (ACT), a Bangalore-based internet broadband service provider, and KSLTA.

The children in the age group of 6 and 11 thronged the KSLTA stadium and, for many a wide-eyed and excited kids, it was their first ever visit to the historic playing arena. The stadium, which in the past hosted World Davis Cup matches, ATP World doubles championship and WTA women’s championship, is now all set to host the India-Indonesia Davis Cup tie during April.

Launching the programme, Deputy Chief Minister R. Ashoka said, “This provides an opportunity for the children to explore talent in sports. Often many talents are lost as there are no proper facilities to identify them.”

Mayor D Venkatesh Murthy said: “For all the children present here, it is their first visit to this wonderful stadium. We are proud that BBMP is the first municipal corporation in the country to adopt an Olympics sport such as tennis in its schools and provide an opportunity for the students to excel. Hopefully this initiative would produce many champions in the future.”

H N Girisha, the silver Medallist at the London Paralympics, who was a special guest, was felicitated by the KSLTA.  Ashoka presented him a cheque of Rs one lakh in recognition of his achievement.

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