Giving something back

Venkataraman sisters unveil tennis academy

Giving something back

The sisters, away from the pro-circuit for a couple of years now, have been plotting a comeback to tennis -- not to play but to groom the next generation of players. And their comeback plans have finally taken shape.

Three years after buying a 2.5-acre plot at Malasamgaram in Krishnagiri District, the duo unveiled the Archana Tennis Coaching Services (ATCS) Tennis Village on Saturday.
Despite their father S Venkataraman, a retired bank manager, selling a property in Mumbai and gathering enough money to buy the land, a few further obstacled had to be overcome and expenses in excess of Rs one crore incurred before their plan materialised.
The six-court facility is 35 kms from the heart of Bangalore, but the hope and passion of the sisters holds out the belief that their long-terms plans will bear fruit.

“We inted making this a residential academy with over 20 courts and run it very professionally,” said MBA topper Archana. “If we do achieve that target, it will be the first of its kind in India. We have some more space left in and around these compound walls and I’m sure we can put it to good use.

“Our family has worked unbelievably hard to make this come true. I just hope in the near future we’ll get some sponsors to help tennis in India.”
The tennis village, formally inaugurated by District collector Shanmugam, is affiliated to the Tamil Nadu Tennis Association but for their contribution to the sport in the State, the Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association has stepped in to lend a helping hand.

“They were two-of-a-kind,” said KSLTA chief coach Niranjan Ramesh. “Every time they played, we knew the match would go on for at least two hours. They would never give up. Their parents played a vital role in grooming them. We have seen many players let their achievements get to their head but these two girls were different. All they ever knew was to play and study and in both aspects, they have outshone many.”
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