Tournament Director Paul Hutchins is blogging from India as the four qualifying events for the Road to Wimbledon in India 2015, supported by HSBC, move onto Chandigarh...
After our less than straightforward journey, we were ready for a peaceful day in Chandigarh, and what a great day it was.
Despite having only three-four hours sleep, jack in the box Dan Bloxham was ever pumped with enthusiasm and HSBC Ambassador Tim Henman were back on duty early in the morning when we had a good clinic with 50+ players all competing at the Road to Wimbledon.
Held at the very attractive Chandigarh tennis club it was a change to travel along wide tree lined streets, with more roundabouts it seemed than Milton Keynes, and few if any traffic jams, unlike it seems all the other major cities in India. With the Himalayas in the near background Chandigarh is certainly a very attractive and well planned City.
Tim and Dan again were emphasising to the juniors the importance of the basics and Tim’s heavy message of ‘concentration, footwork and consistency’ was good to hear with some good demos of all three words being vital if juniors are to improve.
We then did a parent and player Q&A with good questions from parents who have similar queries the world over about the improvement of their children and what are the main common denominators that are needed for success.
Unfortunately no ’magic stardust’ but a good debate.
In the afternoon we went to the Chandigarh Academy for Rural Tennis (CHART) run by the Chandigarh Tennis Association.
Prior to another Tim and Dan clinic we ran a press conference explaining the reasons why we are in India and have signed up for a 3 year Road to Wimbledon agreement with the AITA and our enthusiastic support for the junior programme at the academy.
This was then followed by a great clinic by Tim and Dan to the academy juniors many who live at the centre and are selected from rural villages based on their athletic ability at around 8 years old and taken onto the scheme. Their whole life is then taken over and tennis is learnt as well as education and social learning. It is the most genuine and authentic academy scheme I have ever seen in my travels and more details on the whole programme will be posted soon on the web site.
Meanwhile back at the Chandigarh Club the matches continue on the grass.
Still to come this week as well as the matches is a visit to a very famous Rock Garden (suggest readers google) and on Thursday a school visit.
Find out more about the HSBC Road to Wimbledon.