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Kids dream big with Team Tennis

Diksha's athleticism and ground-strokes, which she hit with absolute ease made her stand out from the other kids. After bagging the scholarship she promised to channelise her energy into tennis for years to come, reports Deepika Sharma.
By Deepika Sharma | Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UPDATED ON FEB 17, 2008 11:16 PM IST

DIKSHA AGGARWAL was often called a 'hyperactive' child by her teachers. A class VII student of Sadhu Vaswani International School for Girls, Diksha's teachers advised her parents to channelise her energy in constructive activity.

On Sunday, after two days of gruelling trials at the Siri Fort tennis courts, Diksha, along with Kanishka, Basil Khuma and Shashank Nautiyal was chosen by the International Lawn Tennis Club of India (ILTCI) from among 485 kids for a one-year scholarship programme with Team Tennis.

Diksha's athleticism and ground-strokes, which she hit with absolute ease made her stand out from the other kids. After bagging the scholarship she promised to channelise her energy into tennis for years to come.

Diksha said she realises that she will have to put in a lot of hard work. "I'm glad my parents don't have to bear my expenses. I will work very hard."

"Right from pre-nursery, her teachers would tell us she is hyperactive and that we should put her into dancing or some sport," said Anshu, Diksha's mother.

"She was always interested in playing tennis and I'm very happy that her talent has been noticed and she can train for free," she added.

Youngest amongst the four winners was nine-year-old Basil. The boy from Mizoram, who has seven sisters and a brother, already has set himself high goals. "I love tennis. I will make full use of my scholarship," said Basil, a class V student of MDH International School, Dwarka. "I love watching Roger Federer. I want to become like him."

Kanishka and Shashank - aged 12 and 11 - were also very excited. "We want to make the most of this scholarship," they said.

In a country that does not produce a tennis champion every day, the first ever initiative taken by ILTCI and Team Tennis can be regarded as a great move to strengthen the sport at the grass-root level. The scholarship awarded to these kids will take care of their tennis expenses. Moreover, they will be trained by a team of coaches who have given us exciting young talent like Yuki Bhambri, Ankita and Sanaa Bhambri, Tara Iyer and many more.

Diksha, Basil, Kanishka and Shashank might be a few lucky ones to win but at the end of the day the camp only helped raise the spirit of the kids.

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