Bangalore has produced a few tennis champions. Going by its tennis loving citizens, we are currently lagging behind states like Tamil Nadu, Delhi and Gujarat.
In that case what will happen to our budding players like Rishi Reddy, Soha S, Prajwal Dev, Apoorva BS?
As I do my research talking to various stake holders let us see the problems and try to find a solution to it.
1) Karnataka State Lawn Tennis Association (KSLTA): KSLTA has some of the best tennis infrastructure. Apart from the three fantastic hard courts it also has good training facilities. However, it lacks vision. There is no support given to local tournaments.
KSLTA which boasted of hosting Davis Cup ties of the stature of Indian vs Serbia is short on planning and vision. For example, KSLTA should have ensured that top players from tennis academies come to watch the stars play. This is a small example that goes on to show that it works alone and has a big communication gap.
KSLTA should organize more tennis coaching programs in Bangalore.
2) Promoting Tennis: Promotion happens only through communication. For example, hardly a word is spread around that KSLTA will be hosting a Challenger in the month of Nov. The result will be lack of crowd and sponsors finally feeling aggrieved.
The same happens to all the Talent Series (TS), Championship (CS) and other tournaments which go unnoticed.
3) Academy Sponsorship: Currently in Bangalore there are only a few academies like Rohan Bopanna Tennis Academy (RBTA), Noah Tennis Academy and Tennis Temple Academy which is sponsored by Wilson.
The sponsorship is restricted to sponsoring around 6 cartons of balls for a year. Apart from that each academy gets about 3 racquets.
1) Core Team: A core team to be formed who are serious about tennis in Bangalore. This core team is to be headed by somebody like a Rohan Bopanna or Mahesh Bhupathi for mentoring and attracting eye balls.
The Core team is to consist of the following people from different walks of life.
- Public Relations Professional: Tennis be it in Bangalore or anywhere else in India is lacking positioning and awareness. A PR professional with a sound background in PR can give the much-needed visibility to tennis. His connect in PR and media can bring the focus on tennis.
- Sports Journalist: The need of the hour is good meaningful coverage of tennis in India including Bangalore. The tennis scenario in Bangalore needs a good space in media. It involves the entire spectrum of players, academies, coaches, tournaments etc.
- Coaches: Bangalore has a lot of hard working yet disgruntled coaches. They want to give their best to the game but does not have the avenue and medium to accomplish the goal. It is their expertise and experience that can shape the tennis path of success.
- Past Players: Past players who are still involved in tennis like Prahlad Srinath and Zeeshan Ali can give the right guidance to the team with their vast experience.
- Corporate Leader: It cannot be denied that tennis is a costly game and it requires good amount of money. To have good tennis development needs good amount of money. Right from sponsoring a budding tennis player to holding any small to medium level of tournaments need sponsors. A corporate leader with a passion for tennis can do wonders in this regard. His connect in the market can infuse the much-needed money into the system.
- Sales and Marketing Professional: Last but not the least, a sales and marketing professional with a strong acumen can be the game changer. His knack of reaching out to potential sponsors and bringing sponsorship into tennis can be vital in the entire scheme of things.
Ultimate Goal: A strong tennis foundation is to be created in the city of Bangalore. This is possible when all the likeminded people with the right attitude can contribute his bit for tennis in Bangalore.