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Slah Bramly, Technical Director of UAE Tennis Association, feels the ITF courses could not have at a better time. Image Credit: Gulf News archive

Dubai: The UAE Tennis Association (UAE TA) has welcomed an initiative by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to empower coaches in the region through its free online education initiatives.

The ITF initiative of educating coaches through its online ITF Academy was announced this week and coaches from the region, including the UAE, are all set for the first session from 2 pm UK time (6 pm UAE) on Friday [May 15].

The ITF Academy’s education and certification for coaches for West and Central Asia will be conducted by ITF Development Officer, Amir Borghei, along with Miguel Crespo, the ITF’s Head of Participation and Coaching.

“The pandemic situation is unique, not just for tennis but for the entire range of sporting activities across the world. As a responsible governing body for tennis in the UAE, it is our duty to cater to our coaches, players and parents as well,” Slah Bramly, Technical Director of UAE Tennis Association (UAE TA), told Gulf News.

Tennis activities in the UAE are forced into a mandatory break due to summer conditions each year. This year, the month of Ramadan has further eaten into tennis activity and the UAE TA has now issued a notice stating that the domestic calendar will resume as usual by September.

“During the summer, a majority of the players and coaches travel either for tournaments elsewhere or on vacation. So it is rather tough to find the right time window to have these refresher courses for the coaches and parents. It is an exercise that needs a lot of co-ordination,” Bramly said.

“And then during the peak months we lose out on precious time due to the big competitions held in the country, whether it is the Dubai Tennis Championships [in February] or the Mubadala Challenge [in December]. International seminars and workshops held in other locations are also out of reach for a vast majority of our coaches as there are several constraints such as travel and accommodation expenses,” he explained.

“These ITF courses could not have come at a better time for everyone involved,” Bramly said.

In a recent move, the world governing body for tennis has made its various coaching resources available for free through its ITF Academy on the official website [www.itftennis.com]. In addition, the same link has courses that are meant to educate parents as well.