The Development Officer of the International Tennis Federation (ITF) for East & Central Africa has ended a three-day visit in Liberia to evaluate the Junior Tennis Initiative (JTI) program and the building of additional tennis courts in the country for international events.
Mr. Thierry Ntwali, the former Rwanda international tennis icon, was also in the country to enhance the level of interaction between the ITF and the Liberia Tennis Federation (LTF).During his tour, Mr. Ntwali met Deputy Sports Minister G. Andy Quamie and pleaded with the government to invest in the capacity of the players and help to erect more tennis courts.
The ITF Development Officer also visited two of the 13 schools which are benefitting from the JTI Program, namely the ELWA Academy and the SOS Children’s Village.
Mr. Ntwali also met scores of coaches, including National Technical Director Alfred Kandakai, Head Coach Jeffery K. Martin, and JTI Coordinator Winston Wreh.The LTF acting president Mr. Clarence L. Simpson III, the Vice President for Administration Cllr. Ruth Jappah and other members of the management team also had an intensive meeting with Mr. Ntwali.
The Rwandan international said player development programs between now and 2020, coaching and officiating matters, progress in the ITF-led Junior Tennis Initiative (JTI) were also discussed.“I have told the LTF to find [some] land and write for a special grant to build four additional tennis courts,” Mr. Ntwali told reporters.
Mr. Ntwali is based in Bujumbura, Burundi- the venue for the East African Tennis Development Centre.Among other things, Ntwali will be charged with advising national associations and helping in the implementation of projects which form part of the ITF Development Programme, evaluating and monitoring the use of funds and resources allocated to the national associations for various programs.
Meanwhile, since the inception of the current administration, the LTF has extended her JTI programs to more than eight schools and increased tournaments among local tennis players to improve the skills and abilities of players.
Also, there has been a bi-annual tennis children’s clinic and over 70 children have benefited.