KARACHI: With only one tennis court to play on in Larkana, the Sindh Tennis Association (STA) hopes to make the sport more accessible to youngsters in Sindh after the Sindh Sports Board Ranking Tennis Championship took place this week in the city, showcasing 20 players.
STA official and Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) secretary Khalid Rehmani believes that this was just the first step to introduce tennis in Larkana. However, he admitted that the youth in the province from cities other than Karachi need more tournaments and opportunities to compete.
“There is only one court in Larkana at the moment,” Rehmani told The Express Tribune. “We tried to set up two other courts at the Ayub Stadium in the city, but they were taken over by other players who now play cricket on the hard cement court.”
The official added that despite the odds, they still had 20 players show up for the event which showed that the youth in interior Sindh want to pursue a career in tennis.
Rehmani said that the Larkana event was sponsored by the Sindh Sports Board, which provided Rs40,000 for the tournament, while local commissioner Nadeem Arejo donated Rs200,000 to the Larkana Tennis Association after being impressed by the efforts.
Meanwhile, Rehmani said that more players are coming from Mirpurkhas, Nawabshah and Hyderabad as compared to Larkana and added that in the next month, he would hold a camp in Nawabshah for the youngsters.
“We’ve promised our players in Nawabshah that we’ll hold a 15-20 day camp in their city,” he said. “They have facilities there and mostly these boys travel all the way to Karachi to compete in events. Now we want to provide coaching to them in their home town.”