Chris Myers interviewed Sania Mirza, the amazing tennis star from India onthe Sports Channel and it was a great interview.
Sania Mirza is a young determined girl and this interview showed how matter of fact and mature she is for her age. Sania told how playing tennis initially at club level in India is not very expensive, but then she belongs to an upper middle class family in India where both parents were working in business. The initial entry into tennis both in India and Pakistan cannot be at any level but at the level where tennis courts are available. This is very limited, only in Karachi and Lahore in Pakistan.Aisam ul Haq of Pakistan is also a young tennis professional who is playing good tennis and has great promise.
Indian tennis star has shown how a consistent support and encouragement by a father can push you through to achieving success at a sport that is not so common in a region like South Asia. She is also a Muslim girl, which really does not encourage her entry into this realm of sports. Sania appears an eager young woman, who understands her shortcomings, and works hard and intellegently to overcome them. She changed her weak backhand with good training and technique lessons from Roth, a fantastic Australian coach who has worked on the likes of Roger Federer.
Young tennis players in India and Pakistan need a lot of training and coaching in order to come up to a standard of international professional tennis. They should be sponsored and promoted by international sponsors as it takes sheer determination and will by these players to be a professional in South Asia.
I really admire this young woman for making into the professional world despite all the odds and hurdles.
In Pakistan also the game of tennis is not really bieng played at a professional level. The facilities for training are too few and far between. Aisam ul Haq , the young player has also had to face a lot of difficulty in eliciting sponsors. Here we need to encourage youth into tennis and the multi nationals and local companies should be active in sponsorship. Only a few pioneers like Saeed Meer have seriously made an effort to train young people at a club which he has maintained out of sheer determination and a sense of service to this great sport. I do not know when we will see a girl tennis star from Pakistan but I do hope that it will be in near future.
The hurdle in Pakistan is also the attitude of Muslims towards female athletes. Here in Pakistan, girls are playing hockey, cricket. In these games also they face much religious and social bigotry and hurdles. Thanks to the changing attitudes of educated parents, by their sheer determination and enlightened minds these parents are standing by their daughters to take up sport.More financial sponsorship and encouragement by international agencies and sponsors to these sports and especially women athletes will help these societies bring more players at the professional level. Also I would strongly suggest that the tennis dress code for women athletes be allowed for Muslim women in order to encourage more of their participation at international levels. This will go a long way to let the sports spaces of the world be occupied by Muslim women, who are enlightened and healthy.
The game of tennis involves, hard work, technique improvement, power and sheer brilliance. It should be encouraged amongst the youth both in India and surely in Pakistan.