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22.11.2005 Tennis

Training clinic for junior tennis players

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Accra, Nov 22, GNA - A select team of promising junior national players are scheduled to embark on a two weeks training clinic at the Winneba Sport College to toughen them for the maiden Areeba Open Tennis Tournament, which kicks off from December 12-17 at the Tennis Court of the Ohene Djan Sports Stadium in Accra.

The training clinic is to be handled by a German Tennis Expert specially flown in by the Ghana Tennis Association with the help of the German Embassy for a month long programme for tennis trainers and players.

In an interview with the GNA Sports in Accra, Mr Charles Kudjoe Attah, General Secretary of the GTA said the training clinic which starts on November 28 to December 10 has been timed to coincide with the maiden annual Areeba Open Tennis Tournament.

He said the names of the selected players for the Winneba clinic would be made public soon.

Mr Attah said the reason behind the timing of the two events is to allow the junior players to have some sound training before the tournament, which will involve crack players from other West African countries.

He said the financiers of the Open, Areeba, who also happen to be the main sponsors of the GTA will use the tournament as a stepping-stone in 'breathing new life' into the local tennis scene, which has been bereft of competition for some time now.

Mr Attah said Areeba would in subsequent years, depending on the success of the competition, invite the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to adopt the competition and award ITF points to winners in addition to cash prizes.

He said from the Areeba Open, Ghana would host the Africa Junior Championship qualifiers at Winneba.

Mr Attah said even though Ghana would be hosting the qualifiers, its players are exempted from the competition having already qualified based on their performance in a previous competition. He said last but not the least on the agenda of the GTA is the West and Central Africa ITF Under-18 championship, which will be played in two phases, the first in Lagos, Nigeria before the finals in Cotonou, Benin.