SHENZHEN, China, July 16, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Mission Hills' drive to develop tennis in China has gathered pace with the staging of the world's first Boris Becker and Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) Coach Accreditation Scheme.
Under the expert guidance of six-time Grand Slam champion Becker and Dan Thorp, the LTA's Head of Coach Development, a selection of China's tennis coaches attended the five-day get-together.
As well as a series of indoor and outdoor clinics conducted by Becker and Thorp, the programme included a junior challenge match between tennis youngsters from Shenzhen and Hong Kong.
Talking about the potential to produce Chinese Grand Slam champions, Becker said: "Give us a bit of time. It won't happen overnight. This isn't a quick fix where we come in and next week we have a champion.
"This takes years and years of dedication from all the people at Mission Hills and all the coaches.
"What's unique here is that we're building the whole thing and looking for the right coaches.
"The best talent cannot be coached by the wrong people. So this programme is very, very important. Without the coaches you won't get the players."
Tenniel Chu, Mission Hills' Vice Chairman, said: "China is blessed with tremendously talented young tennis players and we are seeing a 20 percent year-on-year increase in the number of players. For them to progress, it's imperative that the country has properly qualified coaches to offer them world-class training."
The event marked the first time that the Wimbledon-based LTA has brought its wealth of experience to China and exported its coaching certification outside the United Kingdom.
The national governing body of tennis in Great Britain, the LTA was founded 128 years ago. Its stated mission is 'to get more people playing tennis more often and to act as guardians to promote and safeguard the integrity of the sport.'
Chu added: "Boris has more than 40 years of experience in playing and coaching and has an amazing record with Novak Djokovic, the world number one and multiple Grand Slam champion. With the LTA's involvement as well, I am confident that our certification programme will foster many new world-class coaches to create many world champions.
"The input of Boris Becker, Dan Thorp and the LTA is crucial in enabling us to reach our goals."
The coach accreditation scheme offers support to coaches to ensure all those taking part in the game have an enjoyable and safe experience by providing a simple check on safety and professional standards.
Reflecting on the past five days at Mission Hills, Thorp said: "For the LTA this week has been about learning and finding out about tennis in China and at Mission Hills … and about the coaches.
"Then we will be in a position to see where this might go in the future."
In conjunction with Mission Hills, German great Becker launched Asia's first Boris Becker Tennis Academy at the end of March.
He is working closely with Mission Hills to establish the Boris Becker Tennis Training Camp and Becker Cup Junior Tennis Series.
Becker, a former world number one and Olympic gold medalist who also won three Wimbledon men's singles titles, two Australian Opens and one US Open, said: "As I said when I visited Mission Hills in March, I am passionate about helping young tennis players to develop and it is my great hope that here at the Boris Becker Tennis Academy at Mission Hills we can uncover China's next generation of tennis stars and set them on a path to becoming Grand Slam contenders."
As well as the link up with Becker and the LTA, Mission Hills is working with the Hong Kong Tennis Association and Shenzhen Tennis Association to put in place the world's best coach recruitment programme.
Mission Hills' Vice Chairman Chu, said: "With the support and direct input of Boris and the LTA, Mission Hills can now further cement its position as the pre-eminent tennis venue in China.
"The coach accreditation scheme is just the first step of the Boris Becker Mission Hills Tennis Academy for tennis development in China and we are working closely with Boris to establish the Becker Tennis Camp and Becker Cup."
Becker said: "I can't wait to discuss the next steps in this great journey. I'm ready to go!"
SOURCE Mission Hills