SIMRANPREET KAUR is just five years old but she is already learning to play tennis with a racquet almost as big as her.
Despite squaring off with older and more experienced players at the Ipoh City Council tennis courts, Simranpreet is excited about the new sport she picked up earlier this year.
Simranpreet is the youngest of 62 children taking part in a tennis programme in Ipoh sponsored by Wilson for young players.
Her mother Bimmaljit Kaur, 32, said she enrolled her daughter and eight-year-old son, Jaycharan Singh, for tennis to keep them occupied during the weekends.
“It’s great to see children getting so motivated to play,” she said during the tournament held to mark the first anniversary of the programme.
Sinranpreet's father, Charan Singh, added that her daughter had become so attached to the game that she would cry if she did not get to go to the courts.
“I took up tennis because of my children,” said Charan.
Another participant, seven-year-old N. Vesharman, said he loved tennis and found it fun playing with his friends.
“If I cannot become a lawyer, I want to become a professional tennis coach,” said Vesharman, who was accompanied by his mother, M. Letchumi.
Letchumi said the programme helped expose children to sports.
“The kids can have fun and not feel they are being pushed into playing tennis,” she said.
Chief coach Tony Ooi said the programme provided access to learn tennis to children who might not be able to afford private lessons.
“We also hope to unearth some talent,” added Ooi, who charges only RM50 for 16 hours of lessons.
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