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Palm Aroussy Tennis Academy targets Egypt’s future champions

For the past three years, the Palm Aroussy Tennis Academy (PATA) has been working to establish itself as the leading tennis academy in Egypt by organizing a wide range of tennis-related events for children and adults.

The academy, established in 2006 by Hassan al-Aroussy in cooperation with the Palm Hills club in 6th of October City, aims to introduce the sport to a new generation and create a vibrant and supportive environment for fans of the sport within Egypt.

Al-Aroussy, a former Egyptian and international tennis champion, holds the vision of moulding a tennis community at the Palm Club though development of the one-of-a-kind training facility and by hosting various tennis events.

The Academy is today hosting the third annual National Junior Tennis Tournament, the biggest Play+Stay event in Egypt.

“Play+Stay is a program developed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF),” says Hussein al-Aroussy, brother of Hassan and one of the trainers at the event. “It started a few years back, and it’s a new method of teaching tennis to youngsters and adults alike.”

The main goal of the Play+Stay program, according to Hussein, is to get people interested in tennis right away, as it’s a challenging sport that can take time to learn and play well. “It’s tennis made easy,” Hussein says. “Helping participants to play on the tennis court and score from their first day of training… allows them to think 'I can do this.'”

According to the ITF official website, Play+Stay is made up of three progressive stages, so that children are not immediately overwhelmed by the rules of the sport. With courts and equipment modified for child players, they develop faster and better in the game, enjoying themselves along the way.

“Young kids don’t play soccer on a full pitch,” says Roger Federer, a Swiss professional tennis player who held the number one spot for a record 237 consecutive weeks, and is also the spokesperson for ITF. “So why should they play tennis on a full court?”

“For youngsters, using softer balls and smaller courts and rackets is going to help them understand the game and relate to it,” says Hussein. “We have three different tennis balls–red, orange and green–which all lead up to the yellow ball: the official tennis ball.”

Aside from Play+Stay, today also sees the launch of Tennis 10s, a new program developed for children under ten years of age who are interested in the sport. It is also designed in three different stages to work with kids according to their age, talent and abilities.

“We’re expecting from 250 to 300 kids to join the event today,” says Hussein, “mostly from Cairo, but a few kids are coming from Alex and other cities around Egypt.”

According to a PATA press release, the academy is considered one of the fastest growing tennis academies in Egypt. They started off with 20 players in 2006 and today have over 500 registered players, a number that is still growing.

PATA currently operates eight clay courts, one state-of-the-art center court, and a tennis clubhouse. The academy plans to build over 20 new tennis courts to meet the demands of the rising generation of tennis players at the academy.

The academy runs multiple programs suited to different age-groups, the first of which starts with children as young as three, under the slogan “teaching serious tennis for the little ones.” Other programs serve young adults and interested parents.

The Palm Club, located in the Palm Hills Compound, has also a squash academy, a soccer school and a swimming academy.

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