Aisam Ul Haq, a legendary tennis player, and Aqeel Khan, the nation’s most successful Davis Cup player, inaugurated the nationwide tennis talent hunt program in four locations, including Peshawar, where 52 players of all ages showed up on Wednesday at Pakistan Tennis Club.
During the lively opening ceremony, Dr. Tahir, the chairman of the KP Tennis Association, Secretary Umar Ayaz Khalil, coaches Janan Khan, level-II qualified coaches Zakir Ullah, Nouman Khan, and Shaharyar Khan, and more than 52 players were also present.
“The players will be short-listed through a well-organized framework by allowing each and every one in age group U12, U14, U16 and U18 a due chance to come and prove their merit to assure their selection,” Aisam stated in a statement to the media.
He stated that after holding trials and physical examinations in Lahore and Islamabad, they traveled to Peshawar for two days. From there, they planned to travel to Karachi to choose four players from each of the four groups, who would then be given to qualified coaches and trainers in order to prepare them for representing Pakistan internationally.
He said that he would sponsor 16 of the most talented youngsters to be selected from the trials and he would be taking care of their coaching, and training and other needs besides enabling them to participate in the national and international events. The first-of-its-kind talent hunt program will help Pakistan to be part of the international circuit in future, he added.
The goal of the talent hunt initiative, according to Aqeel Khan, is to find young people who can represent Pakistan in international competitions and to build a grassroots tennis community in the nation.
We are working hard to find sponsorship for this program, at least for a cause to boost Pakistan’s tennis alone, said Aisam. “I am super excited for the Ace Tennis Talent Hunt Program to launch in Pakistan with 16 talented juniors from Peshawar, Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi that will be selected and sponsored for one year,” she said.