After a 13-year sojourn in the United Kingdom, former Lawn Tennis Association of Malawi (Ltam) assistant coach and player Anthony Kainga is back in the country to offer free lessons to primary school pupils aged between five and 12.
The former national team player, who coaches Nottingham County’s top Under-16 player Pierre Luiggi, has taken advantage of his holiday to arouse tennis interest in Malawian children.
The 40-year-old Kainga has since appealed to the corporate world to support the initiative to ensure the training programme is maintained so that more children can embrace the sport and become successful like Chisomo Lumeta.
Fifteen-year-old Lumeta is currently on scholarship at the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Training Centre in Morocco.
“It is easy for one to develop interest in lawn tennis at a tender age and my visits to primary schools aim at enticing the kids into this lovely sport. With guidance from Ltam, I will erect some mini-tennis courts in primary schools for the kids to start free tennis lessons.
“The corporate world should come in with financial or material support because we need these children in schools to learn tennis throughout the year. As a person, I cannot do this programme alone,” Kainga said.
He urged companies and government to start bankrolling junior tennis competitions.
“Money is not a good motivator for the kids as it corrupts their mind. But prizes such as rackets and training shoes and the conducting of training camps before competitions encourage them to focus on the game itself. That is how we create stars,” he said.
Ltam president Francis Mwansa welcomed Kainga’s initiative, saying it will help to build a good breeding ground for the sport’s talents.