Saudi women take to tennis courts in Saudi Arabia
Women in Saudi Arabia rarely get a chance to play their favorite sport and indulge in their passion. But now things have started change and also look on the bright side. The sweet Spot Tennis Academy had been started six years ago in Saudi Arabia. It is also the only academy that has been endorsed by the Saudi Olympic committee you have women trained in their favorite sport. The Salvi Olympic Committee works in close collaboration with the Saudi tennis Federation.
A Saudi resident and citizen named Nejat Alireza had always wanted to re-energize herself and clear her mind after a long draining week of school. She would pick her tennis gear and head off to the sweet Spot Tennis Academy. The 17-year-old says, “When I’m on the tennis court, I forget about everything. It’s where I release stress. Doing well on the court is both thrilling and relaxing.”
She was also very interested in the game of sports of similar sorts from a very young age. She had also picked up the tennis racket when she was only five for the very first time. And had started playing the sport with her sport-loving parents at home. Her parents had made the necessary inquiries and got her enrolled in the Academy. Her mother proudly tells, “Nejat has always been athletic, and interested in sports. So I wanted to give her the opportunity to indulge her passion. The Sweet Spot Academy had a clear vision when it came to developing high caliber tennis players, and the commitment from, and the quality of, its coaches was probably the biggest factor in enrolling Nejat at the academy.
Amongst a number of international coaches that have been recruited to mentor almost all the players who come to play at the academy, her favorite coach is a British national named Jonathan Horn. Alireza has said that he has helped her improve her game and skills tremendously stating, “Coach Johnny introduced me to a different side of tennis. He improved my technique and taught me about the mental half of the game, something I never learned from other coaches. He taught me how to predict incoming shots from opponents, and how to position oneself on the court in response. I also learned how to hit the ball using its momentum, rather than simply straining my muscles.”
The British coach mentions that “Saudi women’s tennis is in a good place for now. And for boys, tennis provides a fantastic alternative to the kingdom’s most popular sport, football. At the academy, girls outnumber boys 2:1”.
In the coming few years, the Sweet Spot Academy has plans to have an even bigger facility that has a state of the art training equipment as well as training grounds for their players. They also hope that this will help lead the country produce much more female players.