The International Tennis Federation (ITF) has implemented a project to improve the standard of National Training Centers in Sri Lanka.
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Mr. Pancho Alvarino from Spain has been sent to Sri Lanka for a 3-day visit, in order to assist the Sri Lanka Tennis Association in terms of player, coach and growth development plans for the future.
Mr. Alvarino has been in the coaching industry for over 30 years and is the present head coach of Pancho Alvarino Tennis Academy Master. He has also captained the Spanish Fed Cup Team from 1985 -1991 and won the coveted Fed Cup title in 1991.
He captained the Spain Women’s Tennis team for the Olympics in 1992 and has coached a number of world class talents in the likes of former World top Dinara Safina, Gala Leon, Cristina Torrence and Arantxa Parra.
Sri Lanka Tennis Association has started the National Player Development project since 2018 November and has a main focus on developing good juniors as a first stage in a program of 5 years.
Over the past year, the development wing of the Sri Lanka Tennis Association has increased participation in all major grassroots level forms. They’ve managed to go up in thousands in the U10 All Island School’s entries and has kids coming in from all corners of the Island.
Mr. Alvarino too, finds that a strong base is vital for player and talent development in the Association’s 5-year plan for Tennis Development.
“Sri Lanka is definitely on the correct path. We need a big base, a big structure because without that it is impossible to produce good players. Also, we can’t expect to see results in a month but maybe in 5 years, we should have a good pack of talented players ready for the international stage”
With the expertise Mr. Alvarino brings, Sri Lanka Tennis Association has implemented strong initiatives to secure Sri Lanka’s spot in the international ranks. Their 5-year development plan focuses on having the best quality of players in the U16 pool.
SLTA has also taken steps to allow better training ahead of the International tours for both the coaches and players, by selecting the Sri Lanka pools close to 12 months prior to the tour as well as to appoint the touring coach ahead of time. This way, the National pools will have close to a year of training before taking the foreign stage.
“We need just one player to start the train and breakthrough into the International circuit and then the rest will follow. First time will hard, but with a strong plan, Sri Lanka can get there” said Mr. Pancho Alvarino closing out his stay in Sri Lanka.