PESHAWAR, Aug 10 (APP): Legendary Tennis star Aisam Ul Haq along with country’s most Davis Cupper Aqeel Khan has launched Nationwide Tennis Talent Hunt Program in four different cities including Peshawar wherein 52 players in different age groups turned up here at Pakistan Tennis Club on Wednesday.
Soon after reaching the provincial metropolis, the two legendary Tennis stars Aisam and Aqeel with their team members Shahid Afridi (coach) and Haroon (trainer) conducted first day trials-cum-physical tests to hunt players in different age groups.
Chairman KP Tennis Association Dr. Tahir, Secretary Umar Ayaz Khalil, coaches Janan Khan, level-II qualified coaches Zakir Ullah, Nouman Khan, Shaharyar Khan, and more than 52 players were also present during the colourful opening ceremony.
Addressing a press conference, Aisam said, “The players would be short-listed through a properly planned structure by giving each and every one in age group U12, U14, U16 and U18 a due chance to come and show their worth to ensure their selection.”
He said they came to Peshawar for two days after conducting trials and physical tests in Lahore, Islamabad and would go to Karachi to select four players in all four groups who would be handed over to qualified coaches and trainers to get them ready for representing Pakistan internationally.
“My own coach and trainer will help out the selected players,” Aisam disclosed. The very positive outcome of the initiative, taken with the help of sponsorship, was receiving more than 300 online registrations nationwide, he said, adding that “yet we are expecting more tennis kids to join this program during the trials in all cities.”
“We’ve finalized the assessment program with our team of coaches and fitness trainers and good numbers of players turned up in Peshawar, which has a good tennis talent,” Aisam said.
He said that he would sponsor 16 of the most talented youngsters to be selected from the trials and he would be taking care of their coaching, and training and other needs besides enabling them to participate in the national and international events. The first-of-its-kind talent hunt program will help Pakistan to be part of the international circuit in future, he added.
“The aim of the talent hunt program is to identify youngsters who can go on to represent Pakistan in international events and also set a base at the grassroots level for tennis to prosper in the country,” Aqeel Khan said.
The Ace-Academy Tennis Talent Hunt Program would help in the coaching and provide
mentorship to the selected youngsters for a period of 12 months where they would be provided with the tools to accelerate their professional careers, he informed.
“I am super excited for launching the Ace Tennis Talent Hunt Program in Pakistan with 16 budding juniors from Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi that will be selected and sponsored for one year, and for this, we are working hard to find out sponsorship at least for a cause to boost Pakistan’s tennis only,” said Aisam.
Earlier, the selection of the players through playing tennis and physical fitness started in the morning and continued up to 5:00 pm wherein players in the age of U16 and U18 participated on the first day and similarly for players in the age group U12 and U14 will be organized on Thursday [August 11] before finalizing four names from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for Talent Hunt Program.