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PESHAWAR, Feb 13 (APP):The Junior Tennis Initiative (JTI) program in collaboration with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and the Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) to promote tennis at the grassroots level in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa from February 22.

Director General Sports Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Asfandyar Khan would inaugurate the program at Pakistan Tennis Court Shahi Bagh, Hamid Niaz, JTI Coordinator told media men during a news briefing here on Saturday at Qayyum Sports Complex Tennis Courts. Omar Ayaz Khalil, Secretary of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Tennis Association, Level-I coaches Shaharyar Khan, Zakir Ullah and Oreen Jasia were also present.

JTI National Coordinator Hamid Niaz himself supervised the activity and guided the coaches as well as the participants. He conducted a number of international activities to keep all the players engaged in healthy activities and motivated them to adopt this game as a profession. He also announced a tennis drawing and tennis quiz competition, which was liked by all the campers.

He said the International Tennis Federation has introduced such a JTI program in almost 133 countries of the world including Pakistan.

He said the main purpose of the program was to promote tennis and develop junior players in public and private schools. Attention will be paid to the children up to which in the first phase camps will be set up in different schools of Peshawar division in which talent will be identified, which will be further trained in tennis courts in consultation with parents, and school administration, Hamid Niaz informed.

The Directorate General of Sports has appointed Murad Ali Mohmand, Project Director of the Prime Minister 1000 Playground facilities as focal persons while Provincial Tennis Association have appointed Shahriar Khan, Zakirullah, Noman, Shakirullah, Shah Hussain and Oreen Jasia as coordinators.

He said that the scope of the program would be extended to the other three divisions of the province, equipment and tools would be provided to the children on behalf of the International Tennis Federation, teachers and tennis coaches would also be trained in the program, in the government schools.

The Directorate of Sports KP has agreed to provide allowances to those who perform coaching duties. Responding to a question, he said that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has more tennis talent and coaches than other provinces and this province has more opportunities to produce world class players looking after the performance.

The JTI program will promote tennis across the country and produce talented players at the junior level who will go on to represent the country globally, giving the province its fair share of equipment and supplies provided by the ITF, Hamid Niaz said.