Jacobs receives grant from ITF

WINDHOEK: Namibian tennis player Lesedi Jacobs received a grant of about N.dollars 12 000 (US$ 1 000) from the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to compete in four championships in Europe.

Jacobs, 17, will participate in the Allianz Kundler German Juniors support (Grade 1) in Berlin, Germany on 16 June 2015;

IGTA Junior Cup (Grade 2) Powered by Babolat in Bochum, Germany on 22 June 2015;

Nike Junior International (Grade 1) in Roehampton, London, United Kingdom (UK) on 28 June 2015;

Junior Championships (Grade A) at Wimbledon, London, UK on 04 July 2015.

She made her debut for the Namibia Fed Cup team in 2012.

The ITF website indicated that her career singles include 100 wins and 49 losses and her career doubles comprise of 88 victories and 49 defeats.

In a media statement availed to Nampa on Monday, President of the Namibia Tennis Association, Bob Mould said Jacobs received the grant as an aspiring young player.

Mould explained the grant is part of the ITF Development Programme, which is financed by the ITF and the Grand Slam Development Fund (GSDF).

“With the aim of raising the level of tennis worldwide and increasing the number of countries competing in mainstream international tennis, the development programme includes a broad range of initiatives in less-developed countries ranging from grassroots to grand slams,” he said.

Mould said special emphasis has been placed on junior tennis where regional tournament circuits have been developed and teams of young players compete outside their own regions.

“Players who perform well at these regional circuits are invited to join an international touring team. The ITF/GSDF touring team programme aims to facilitate the transition of talented players through regional and international competitions and onto the professional ranks,” he explained.

In 2014, 26 regional circuits were supported by the development programme, providing much-needed competition for the best players of the ages of 18, 16, 14, 13, 12 and under across the globe.

Mould added that coaching education continues to be a priority for the programme with more ITF member nations keen to put in place their own coaches’ certification programmes.

He said the ITF’s role is to help them become self-sufficient by helping to run courses, assessing coaches, selecting future course tutors and making sure the latest coaching information is easily accessible to them.

The NTA president said that to date, more than 80 countries worldwide are using the ITF’s recommended Level 1 and Level 2 syllabi as part of their own coaching programmes.

ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti was quoted in the statement as saying they are delighted to be able to direct these funds specifically towards the development of competitive tennis.

“It is fitting that these great tournaments, which showcase our sport and provide stability for the professional game, are able to help by some tangible means to extend the competitive frontiers of tennis,” he said.