My time in Sri Lanka is coming to an end as we have one last day on the beach before heading to the airport. I can definitely recommend the country as a holiday! As well as visiting the cultural temples and sunning on the beaches, we have shared the journey with wild elephants, turtles and even blue whales! However, we also managed to achieve something that will have a more lasting impact than our tourism trade...
First off, a little bit of insight into my motivation for this project. Tennis is a fantastic sport and is enjoyable to play and watch. However it's ability to help me get a better education, make friends and travel the world has been invaluable. If a child can play tennis from a young age, in whatever setting, it can open doors to a better future. By targeting schools and orphanages across the world, Matt is helping some of the poorest community to change their own future.
In terms of the trip, you may be asking yourself does carrying round an extra 10KG bag have an added effect on your travels? Yes. No doubts there. But after seeing the tennis situation in Kandy, Central province of Sri Lanka, the effort is worth it for sure.
Getting the local knowledge to survey the situation in an area is one of the best ways to ensure your work has the most impact. After talking with a local Buddhist Monk, the president of an all girls orphanage and the manager for tennis in Kandy, we actioned a plan.
The tennis courts in Kandy consist of one tennis club and 2 schools with access to courts. The portable net from ZSIG allows play indoor as well as on pretty much any surface outside. Two of the schools in Kandy do not have access to any tennis courts and the only tennis they can play is by traveling, at expense, to the club to play. With the 10 rackets, 30 balls and one double length portable net, Sudavsham is now able to add two schools to his programme (below)!
Unfortunately for me personally, the children were all on their summer break from school and therefore I was the able to deliver a session. Instead, the photos show me and our new contact Sudavsham, delivering a joint session with a child he was teaching during the summer (below). I managed to show him some of techniques we use back home to teach different styles as well as some old fashioned junior tennis games!
I am in contact with Sudavsham about some videos of him using the portable ZSIG tennis net delivering sessions at a school, he can now add to his programme for the first time. The plan is to keep in touch to see how the process goes and for me to send him coach education content via whatsapp to keep him up to date with the latest ideas in the western world.
There will be more updates from Sudavsham and his schools work in coming in the near future. Letting us know the wider impact the new Zsig Sports equipment is having on their local community. Keep up-to-date on our social media (links below).