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The kids will stay at the Bollettieri centre for about two weeks
NEW DELHI: Nick Bollettieri heaped praise on Yuki Bhambri and expressed his happiness at getting a chance to work with more Indian kids through the IMG Reliance initiative, as he inspired everyone around with his energetic presence at the DLTA Complex here on Monday.
“Yuki is terrific and very intelligent. He can go a long way,” said the 78-year-old American tennis guru, even as he stressed that the former World No. 1 junior, a regular at his US centre, would have to fight his way through the tough professional circuit.
“Kids have to learn themselves. The job of the parents is to shower them with love, and tell them that failure the first or second time is not the end of life. The kids have to bounce back from adversity and move forward,” said Bollettieri, who is here to select 15 kids to be further screened at his centre in the US.
The kids in the age group of 11 to 14 years, who have all assembled from across the country, will stay at the Bollettieri centre for about two weeks, and the four best will be selected for scholarship that would take care of their tennis and education, starting with the September term.
Bollettieri said it was a wonderful opportunity to work with the Indian kids, and that he would not have taken up the venture, had it been a one-time event.
To be a regular process
The Managing Director of IMG South Asia, Ravi Krishnan, stressed that the IMG Reliance venture was trying to boost a few sports, and assured that it would be a regular process of finding deserving talent and backing it with complete support.
When he addressed the coaches in an hour-long clinic, Bollettieri made it clear that no two kids were alike, and the coaches needed to listen well to be able to train their wards better. He said the game had become very physical and the athletic foundation was crucial for any player.
“India is a large country, and it is important to educate the coaches for this project to succeed,” he said.
The secretary-general of the All India Tennis Association, Anil Khanna, said that three years ago he had had a discussion with Bollettieri on the latter's dream of contributing to the development of Indian tennis, and said he was pleased that the moment had arrived.
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