Bulat Utemuratov about the Development of Tennis in Kazakhstan

Gone are the days when tennis was a game, available exclusively for wealthy ladies and gentlemen. Nowadays, the game is popular among people of all ages and welfare levels, including in Kazakhstan. However, there is still a shortage of tennis centers, where both professionals and amateurs can play. That’s why the opening of new sports facilities becomes an event of great importance, and that’s why a new tennis center in Almaty was opened in attendance of President of Kazakhstan Nursultan Nazarbayev.

The new center is a club of the Kazakhstan Tennis Federation, headed by an influential entrepreneur and public figure Bulat Utemuratov. The KTF president allocated $5 million of his own funds to construct this sports facility of the international level. This was only a part of his large-scale plans to develop sports infrastructure in the country. Currently, the construction of a new tennis center in Aktobe is in progress, while additional courts are being built in Shymkent and Astana.

"There is a lack of tennis courts in Karaganda," Utemuratov said, "They have strong coaching staff, and children’s tennis is actively developing there. In Taraz and Kyzylorda we need more indoor courts. Also, we have plans about Lisakovsk, a skilled coach and enthusiast collected a children’s group there and started to bring up their own champions. Our task is not only to build in administrative centers, but also to reach small towns."

He added that for successful development of tennis in the country it is necessary to work simultaneously towards three goals – to develop the infrastructure, to improve coaching staff and national tennis school, as well as to host and to participate in international tournaments.

Besides, Bulat Utemuratov noted that it is important to financially support young talented athletes. Similar to the world’s trends, tennis in Kazakhstan is getting younger. In earlier times,it was believed that the proper age for children to engage in tennis is 6 years, while nowadays kids start playing tennis at the age of 4. However, this doesn’t mean that athletes can be deprived of support earlier. According to Utemuratov, tennis players often need support until the age of 21.

"There are players who are very successful when they are under 18, but then they get lost in the adult league and disappear. This is especially true for Asian tennis players. The process of joining the adult, professional league is painful for them. They find it difficult to accept that now they are playing with masters, and the only criterion in this group is to show a professional game," the president of the Federation explained.

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