Local tennis trainers got another boost in increasing their knowledge and skills after attending a free, two-day tennis workshop, conducted by the Pinoy Tennis Trainers at the Makati Sports Club last weekend, attracting more than 40 participants mostly from the National Capital Region and a few from Pangasinan, Pampanga and Bulacan.
The latest leg of PTT’s series of training sessions conducted by Roland Kraut, the country’s lone ITF Level 3 coach, together with Stephan and Sebastian Lhuillier, who now spearheads PTT, focused more on a Level 2 training aimed at improving further the skills of the participants to enable them to improve their earnings with better credentials.
“This was how it all started in 2016, I had a chance encounter with a local trainer in the province where I was playing in a tournament and I was surprised to learn how little some of these trainers earn for their work. I believe that if there is a program that can improve both their knowledge and training skills, it should help them improve their lives, too,” said Stephan, the tennis-playing eldest son of sports patron Jean Henri Lhuillier, a long-time supporter of grassroots tennis in the Philippines.
With Stephan continuing his studies in the United States next year, his younger brother Sebastian, who also plays competitive tennis and was a recent winner of a 16-under tournament, will be taking over the responsibility of continuing what his brother started.
“It is a big challenge for me, but then I have seen the value of what my brother has started and I have seen how it has helped our local tennis trainers in their work so I accepted the responsibility. I want to develop further our Level 2 module as far as contents are concerned. At the same time, the PTT wants to replicate what it did in 2017 when it went nationwide in the program. I also would like to pursue international tennis training for our top graduates,” said Sebastian, who is a teammate of his elder brother in the tennis team of International School of Manila.
The program has already close to 600 graduates from its previous series of seminars in 2016 and 2017 and the participants last weekend in Makati have completed their Level 1 training.
In the past, the PTT has also sent its top graduates Trudy Amoranto and JR Moreno to Thailand to participate in an ITF Level 1 coaches’ course.
“Tennis has a strong following here in the Philippines, but there is a big gap between the recreational and the competitive players and we are hoping that this PTT program, with the graduates being able to teach better their students and athletes, will help tennis players move from where they are to the next level,” added Stephan.
Also part of PTT’s program is its Adopt-A- Racket advocacy, wherein the organization solicits new and used tennis rackets for donation to the seminar participants as incentives. More than 200 rackets have been collected, including from national tennis players Ruben Gonzales and Treat Huey.
Most of these rackets have already been distributed among the participants.