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MORE than 100 enthusiastic youngsters converged on the Medan York Taman Jajar Tennis Court in George Town recently for the Pro Ace Tennis Academy Junior Development Programme 2.0.

The youngsters, aged between six and 16, were not only from Penang, but also from as far as Kulim and Sungai Petani in Kedah.

Academy head coach K. Manimaran said they were motivated to hold this year’s event following the roaring success of their first junior development programme last year.

“Our main objective is to train these youngsters to excel and go on to play at the national and international levels,” he said.

“This six-month programme will see the children train under 10 coaches and taught the basics. We will also help mould their discipline and character.”

The programme is co-sponsored by Restoran Jaya AGD Sdn Bhd, Listen Security Sdn Bhd and Mayura Creations while the court bookings are sponsored by Bukit Gelugor MP Ram Karpal Singh.

All the children also received a tennis racquet and attire each.

The programme has been well received by parents.

Nurul Huda Ahmad, 25, who brought her seven-year-old daughter Maryam Siddiya Khairul Aidil, was happy with the way training was conducted and discipline imposed.

She said her SK Batu Lancang Year One pupil would eagerly wait for Saturdays to attend training and meet her friends.

Nurul Huda said her daughter had attended just three weeks of training but was already able to hold the racquet and serve properly.

Meanwhile, V. Thanirmalai, 68, is happy that his eight-year-old granddaughter Shadhiga Ganesh Chandran likes the game which he once wanted to play.

That’s why he’s happy to drive her from Kepala Batas on the mainland to the island for training every Saturday.

He said Shadhiga joined the programme last year and has the potential to become a great player.

The proud grandfather said Shadhiga, a SK Sungai Nyior Year Two pupil, even teaches some of her friends in their neighbourhood how to play tennis.

Another proud parent, Imamul Ameen Saleem Allama, is also glad to see his son Abdullah Imamul Ameen join the academy, which he said was very well organised.

The seven-year-old SK Hamilton Year One pupil is so passionate about the sport that he even got his father to buy him a another set of tennis racquets and shoes.

Imamul hopes that his son will one day go on to play at international level.

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