Tennis Malaysia Serves Up Success: Unveiling the R-O-G Young Talent Development Program
BY: Michelle Liew
In a strategic move to foster the next generation of tennis stars, the Lawn Tennis Association of Malaysia, known as Tennis Malaysia, has launched an innovative young talent development program named R-O-G (Red-Orange-Green). The program, targeting children aged eight to 10, aims to build on the success of existing initiatives and create a pathway for budding talents to flourish in the sport.
A Collaborative Vision
President of Tennis Malaysia, Mirzan Mahathir, unveiled the R-O-G program, a result of collaborative discussions with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and other national tennis associations renowned for their effective development programs. The focus on children in the crucial age range of eight to 10 reflects Tennis Malaysia's commitment to identifying and nurturing talent at an early stage.
Implementation at the State Level
Set to roll out this year, the R-O-G program will be implemented at the state level, emphasizing a comprehensive approach to skill development and competition. Mirzan Mahathir highlighted the importance of evaluating past programs and addressing constraints that may hinder young players from reaching their full potential.
Key Elements of the R-O-G Program
The R-O-G program introduces a structured approach to skill enhancement, utilizing the red, orange, and green balls as recommended by the ITF. Players aged 10 and below will engage in tailored training sessions using smaller and lighter rackets on mini tennis courts with lower nets. Monthly tennis competitions, organized by state partners and clubs under the Youth Tennis Initiative (JTI) program, will offer a platform for participants to showcase their progress.
Zone Championships and National Competitions
The top performers from monthly competitions will advance to zone championships held every six months. Tennis Malaysia has divided the country into five zones—North, South, East, Central, and Sabah-Sarawak-Labuan. The top three players from each age category in each zone will receive invitations to participate in the national championship, held biannually.
Fostering Champions for the Future
Mirzan Mahathir emphasized that the primary goal of the R-O-G program is to cultivate future champions in tennis. He stressed the importance of support from stakeholders, including partners, coaches, players, parents, and other contributors, in ensuring the success of this developmental initiative.
Tennis Malaysia's R-O-G program marks a pivotal step in the nation's commitment to nurturing tennis talent from a young age. With a structured approach, innovative training methods, and a clear pathway to competition, the program aspires to create a pool of skilled and competitive players, laying the foundation for a bright future in Malaysian tennis.