New Delhi: The Indian Tennis players and the entire tennis ecosystem has been adversely hit by the Covid 19 pandemic and the indefinite cancellation of all ATP and ITF competitions worldwide.
The need of the hour is to keep the ecosystem alive in the coming months and that AITA with the help and support of the Government and all other stakeholders comes up with an intermediate plan to mitigate at least some of the pain.
AITA therefore, based on the assumption that the complete National Lockdown may be lifted in the course of the next 2 months and that travel restrictions may be eased somewhat, plans to launch a Domestic circuit to start tentatively in July 2020.
According to a press release from AITA, this circuit will be aimed at benefiting our tennis players across the country since the pandemic has adversely affected their livelihood as well as their overall training and preparedness and shall have the objective of helping them be sharp, fit, competitive and match ready without any major financial burden.
"AITA proposes to start Tournaments for all age groups. These will initially (in July and August) be restricted to State Level tournaments keeping in mind the need for restricting travel. It shall subsequently graduate into Zonal and National tournaments in September, October and November once the travel restrictions and social distancing norms are further eased," says the press release.
The AITA is in the process of setting up a sizeable fund out of its reserves to create a domestic circuit. The AITA is also approaching the Government of India, Ministry of Sports & Youth Affairs to allow it to utilise the unutilised portion of its ACTC Budget 2019-2020 which was earmarked for Tournaments and Foreign Exposure up to September, 2020.
AITA shall also be launching a fresh initiative to approach Corporates to contribute to this fund that will be used for creating tournaments and competition opportunities for Indian players during the upcoming months while the Pro and ITF Circuits stay closed.