WTA Legend and hometown hero Tamarine Tanasugarn welcomed back the WTA Future Stars in Bangkok, Thailand, today as she introduced 50 children aged 10-12 years from a local primary school, the Preedavittaya School, to tennis for the first time in a series of fun basic activities and drills.
Tamarine, who will be returning as a WTA Finals Legend Ambassador in Singapore this October, shared her experience with the next generation saying, “It has been great working with the WTA to promote tennis in Thailand through the WTA Future Stars programme over the last few years. Each time, we are able to reach out to a new group of children and introduce them to tennis, and I really enjoy being able to share my experience with them. It would be great to see more children take up tennis in Thailand and hopefully we will see some Thai stars in future!”
“Over the last four years, the WTA has built a strong foundation in the Asia-Pacific through the WTA Future Stars initiative, which has been an integral part of raising awareness on tennis and the WTA Finals in the region. The WTA Future Stars was launched alongside the first edition of the WTA Finals held in Singapore in 2014, and we have since gone on to conduct clinics and masterclasses in China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. Working closely with our WTA legends like Tamarine Tanasugarn, the WTA Future Stars outreach is aimed at highlighting how sport is great way for young boys and girls to develop beneficial life skills that will help them to achieve whatever goals they may set for themselves,” said Melissa Pine, Vice President of WTA Asia-Pacific and Tournament Director of the WTA Finals.
Speaking after assisting Tammy during the clinic, the 2017 WTA Future Stars Under-14 finalist from Thailand, Pimrada Jattavapornvanit, said, “It was a wonderful experience to be able to represent my country at the WTA Future Stars tournament in Singapore last year, and I am glad to be able to attend the clinic today to share my passion for tennis with other local children. Tamarine Tanasugarn is our role model and being able to stand next to her to encourage more children in Thailand to play our sport is a very special experience for me.”
Kitsombat Euammongkol, President of the Lawn Tennis Association Thailand (LTAT), said, “This is the second year that the WTA has worked with the LTAT to host the WTA Future Stars at our national tennis centre, and it has been a great success. We look forward to more opportunities in the future to work with the WTA to promote tennis in Thailand. I would also like to wish our 2018 WTA Future Stars representatives from Thailand all the best at the tournament in Singapore in October.”
The WTA Future Stars Clinic is part of a regional platform to promote tennis among children throughout Asia-Pacific and includes the WTA Future Stars Tournament where each country sends two representatives to compete in the U14 and U16 categories respectively.
Launched in 2014 when the WTA Finals was first hosted in Singapore, the WTA Future Stars tournament started with 12 countries, and in 2018 will bring together players from 21 markets in the Asia-Pacific region.
The WTA Finals, which is the crown-jewel of the WTA calendar, will take place in Singapore from October 21 – 28 2018 where the best in women’s tennis will compete for the year’s biggest prize purse of US$7 million. Players accumulate points throughout the season and the top eight singles players and doubles teams on the Porsche Race to Singapore Leaderboard then compete in the season finale at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.