Nepali Times
Game Point
Reason to hope


It is never easy to say bye to your loved ones. I had an eventful two-week stay in Kathmandu and all that is left with me as I head back to my home away from home are memories.

The faces of the orphans crammed into cribs at Bal Mandir. Some of them just four days old, longing to be held by some one. Then there were all of you who attended my tennis clinics. You were so excited and thirsting for instruction, motivation and inspiration. I will miss the happy sounds of my nieces and daughter waking me up each day. I felt that as long as we focus on the youngsters there is hope for Nepal at all levels. And that includes the development and growth of tennis.

At a press conference in Kathmandu a journalist asked me: "Do you think you can make a difference in the Nepali tennis scene?" I am certain that if I was able to touch just one child and give encouragement and strength, I have made a difference. After my trip, I have reasons to hope.

Tennis clinics at Rato Bangla School, Little Angels School and Nabha Deepti School
Over 60 kids took part. They were of all levels and some of them have the potential to be very good. All of them shared true passion for the game and with some organised training and lure of more tournaments, the level will surely improve.

4th Annual Jayakar Cup
I was honoured to inaugurate this junior tournament and say a few words to the participants. It had five age categories from under-10's to under-18's.

Tennis aficionados truly care
Each day, I talked to coaches, tennis players/parents, recreational players and fans as well as past and present members of All Nepal Tennis Association. Each one of them shared concern about the stagnant state of the game and the course it was taking.

Media is our friend
In a day's notice, eight sports journalist were able to come and hear my concerns. Using the media to make positive changes is important in this day and age. An 18-minute interview on Channel Nepal was a bonus to share some of my thoughts.

Mr. President, the ball is on your court
I thank ANLTA president S K Singh for inviting me to hear my story as well as have a constructive dialogue. This shows character and strength. I was candid in my assessment of the current status of tennis in Nepal and President Singh needs to lay his plan and vision out for every one to see. It was clear that he cared and had a plan but was frustrated and dejected with certain obstacles. This must not stop him from his role of providing leadership and communicating with all who care about the future of tennis in Nepal. I made four suggestions which could act as bridge for all parties to work together.

. Communicate immediately with the tennis community (letters, emails, bulletins boards, media etc.)
. Host a gathering of tennis enthusiasts to get back their trust and feed back.
. Identify true leaders to delegate duties.
. Fight to keep the property of ANLTA at Sat Dobato away from the hands of the National Sports Council.

(11 JAN 2013 - 17 JAN 2013)