Sania Mirza on Monday launched SMTA Grassroot Level Academy for kids aged between three to eight in Hyderabad, a project of her mother. This academy is the second such platform set up by the Indian tennis star who started the Sania Mirza Tennis Academy in 2013.
“As a tennis I had a lot of difficulties coming up to know what to do and where to go as a child & knowing how much to practise. Our goal as a family has always been to try and help in whatever way is possible, says Sania.”
” It (SMTA Grassroot Level Academy) is actually my mother and her friend’s idea and obviously we support it. This is for the grassroots-level kids. It is too competitive in tennis today and to start when you are 8 or 9-years-old, it’s already too late. You have to start when you are three or four year old.”
Sania who herself started playing tennis at the age of six said that the ” biggest of champions” always started playing the sport at a young age.
“This academy has been started just for those kids from the age of two-and-half to about seven or eight-year-olds to give them a stepping stone because we understand as kids it will be difficult for them to go outside the city to a full-fledged academy. This is inside the city.”
The whole concept is to get as many kids as possible to the academy. Here we are going to play with softballs which is easier for kids to play. It will be with colorful balls which will make it more attractive for the kids to play. As a four-year-old I don’t think if they understand the concept of forehand or backhand. It is more about fun and it is about coming and enjoying. You have to get them to try and love the game first before they want to actually make it their profession,” Sania added.
“The Mirza family always tried to pass on whatever experience we had in tennis. We are still waiting for the next Sania,the next Mahesh & Leander to come and this is just a small way of contributing to it,” she said adding,” It is right next to my house and I will obviously give some time as well.”