It is considered one of the best tennis coaching courses in the country, but the National Institute of Sports (NIS), run by Sports Authority of India (SAI), has a proposal to drop it from the curriculum from the next academic year.
Lack of response is cited as a reason, but the stringent eligibility criteria may have proved a stumbling block for aspirants.
SAI had been reducing the number of students over the years and the current batch has only three.
There have been two demands to sustain the course. One was to revise the syllabus, even though it has been generally agreed that the fundamentals remain the same. Second, to relax the criteria so that players at the State or zonal level get to study the course.
At the moment, a player should have competed in the National championship or in two editions of the All-India inter-University championship.
“It was a wonderful course. We had allied subjects like general training, sports psychology, kinesiology and sports medicine.
“There were classes to teach us how to massage, operate ECG and gauge lung capacity,” said former National coach T. Chandrasekaran, who did the course in 1984-85.
In fact, Chandrasekaran, during his stint at the National Tennis Academy (NTA) between 2004-09, had suggested the modernisation of the tennis course to the SAI.
Even though there are many tennis coaching courses available at the national and international level, the NIS course has been unmatched as it is quite elaborate. Most significantly, it came with the advantage of being one of the qualifications for getting a government job at the State or Central level, while being recognised globally.