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SOUTH SUBURBS

Advantage! children

The S.R. Tennis Club in Nanganallur not only teaches tennis but also provides facilities for sports enthusiasts and the fitness conscious.

LOCATED IN Nanganallur, S. R.Tennis Club is a godsend for children who find this area rather boring without much by way of entertainment.

"I wanted to start something on my own, and being a sportsperson, starting a tennis club was my first priority," says Raja Gopal, founder of the club.

One of the few self-financed clubs in the city, it was started in 1993. The membership base has always been restricted because, "I did not want it to be a social club or recreation centre, and wanted every member to take the sport seriously," says Gopal.

The club has three tennis courts and admits only children below nine years. It has at least 45 members now. "I have restricted the age limit as I thought this would be the right stage for children to take the sport seriously. Also, their talents can be easily identified," he says.

The monthly membership fee is Rs. 500. Gopal has a few assistants who help him train the children.

The club also conducts tournaments and recently hosted two State-level tournaments. The club also celebrated `Ten Years of Tennis' last month as a part of its decennial year celebrations.

The club has started a table tennis training programme and a fitness centre for other sports enthusiasts.

"The fitness gym focusses on maintaining overall health, not just body building. I felt a fitness centre would help understand the body better while playing tennis or any other game," he adds.

Apart from this, the club conducts inter-school tournaments regularly. However, Gopal feels that it will be a long time before sports is considered a career option. "Any kind of sponsorship would be a moral boost to these children," he adds.

S.R. Tennis Club is located at, 27, Perumal Nagar, Third Street, Nanganallur, ph. 22242568.

PRASSANA SRINIVASAN

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