Khalid al-Khelaifi, director of national teams at Qatar Tennis, Squash and Badminton Federation (QTSBF), said that the national tennis teams are playing an important role in the development of tennis in Qatar as they contributed to promoting the values of community and had achievements at the local and international levels, which will strengthen Qatar’s sporting status in the world.
In remarks yesterday at the media centre of the Qatar ExxonMobil Open, al-Khelaifi said that the national teams have in recent years made progress as more than 240 male and female players joined in, and made local and regional achievements, the most recent of which was Qatar junior team that finished runner-up in the Qatar Asian Junior U14 Tennis Tournament hosted by the QTSBF last month.
The QTSBF aims to develop all national teams by adopting a long-term strategy that puts the players on a priority and ensures their sporting excellence and sustainable development, he added.
Al-Khelaifi said that the QTSBF has put a number of plans and initiatives, most notably development of a children tennis centre by launching a global and modern programme in 2015 aimed at increasing the number of Qatari players under ten years.
This programme seeks to meet the needs of this age group and make the game enjoyable for them by using slower balls, smaller rackets and playgrounds to help children continue to play the game.
This plan has contributed to an annual increase of 20 percent in the number of male and female players enrolled in the centre, bringing the total number to 160.
Regarding women’s tennis, al-Khelaifi said that the QTSBF gives great attention to women’s tennis by attracting a large number of Qatari women to join the Qatari teams and to develop their skills and talents. There are 60 women in all categories aged between 4 and 18, he said.
The QTSBF hosts some 25 key tournaments, including the Qatar ExxonMobil Open and the Qatar Total Open, besides six tournaments overseen by the international tennis federation.
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