LAHORE: A high-performance Tennis camp, which kicked off on May 28, is in full swing here at the Punjab Tennis Academy’s courts in Bagh-e-Jinnah, along the iconic highway of Lahore, Mall Road.
The camp, organised by the Punjab Lawn Tennis Academy (PLTA) and sponsored by Ali Embroidery Mills, is orchestrated by current and former top-ranked tennis players such as Pakistan number one Aqeel Khan, former Pakistan number 2 and veteran Davis Cupper Yasir Khan, as well as former Pakistan number 2 Shahzad Khan and former top-ranked junior, Ahmed Babar.
The event is led by tennis legend Rashid Malik.
Malik has put together a strong team of coaches from all over the country — the Khan brothers coming all the way from Karachi and Shahzad summoned from Islamabad — in order to train a variety of students, split into two categories: ‘High Performing’ juniors and ladies — including top-ranked juniors Hamid Israr and Natalia Zaman, as well as leading ladies tennis players Noor Malik, and Esha Jawad — who play in the morning, and beginners aged 8 to 12 who play for two hours in the evening.
In the morning, the professionals are subjected to a three-hour-long intensive training session from 8:00 am to 11:00 am, after which they work on their fitness for one hour before retiring for the day.
In the evening, the youngsters arrive, training for 2 hours between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm.
It speaks volumes about the coaching team’s versatility that they are able to coach two widely different sets of trainees during a single coaching camp. With one targeting superior athletes and the other complete amateurs, the two programmes undoubtedly require two very different plans, as well as execution, regularly demanding the coaches to change swift gears.
It is no wonder, then, that Malik and the PLTA has called upon the best of the best of the country’s tennis elite to perform this task.