SINGAPORE - The ActiveSG tennis academy was launched on Sunday as part of the ongoing national movement for sport, in a bid to create accessible options for Singaporeans of all ages and skill levels to play sport.
Tennis is the fourth sport with an academy under ActiveSG, following football, athletics and basketball launched earlier. It aims to reach about 4,000 kids by the end of the year.
Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Grace Fu was at Kallang Tennis Centre to help launch the academy. She said: "The idea is really to introduce the sport to as many people as we can, reach out to the young kids, give the a chance to hold a racket, learn about tennis and hopefully excite them about the sport.
"It's our way to introduce sports to everyone everywhere. We hope that one day everyone will adopt a sport to keep themselves healthy. Sport is a great way to bring the community together."
The tennis academy, headed by American Robert Davis as its technical director, will cater to all ages and abilities, beginning from the mini tennis programmes to the high performance programmes for the elites.
Five zonal academies will be set up across Singapore, with the first three planned at Kallang Tennis Centre and Yio Chu Kang Tennis centre by the end of this year, and the third at Farrer Park Tennis Centre next year.
Davis, who has experience working on the professional ATP circuit, will bring in top players from the region including 2006 Asian Games champion Danai Udomchoke of Thailand and Indonesia's SEA Games champions Christopher Rungkat (2011) and Lavinia Tanata (2009) to help be the academy's visiting regional coaches.
The objective of the academy goes beyond just getting more people to play tennis, said Davis. "It's also about our coaches imparting important life skills. Tennis, like any other sport, has the ability to teach our young important values such as discipline, respect and teamwork and that will be a key feature throughout our academy."
The academy kicks off with the mini tennis weekend programmes for children aged five to 12 at more than 10 schools from July 9. Junior and youth developmental zonal academies will follow in the fourth quarter of the year. adults can also look to join adult tennis groups.
For more information, please visit www.myactivesg.com/academy/tennis