Looking to introduce the game of tennis to youngsters thousands of miles away, Mark Weil has announced plans to conduct eight week-long training sessions in Shanghai, China, this summer.
The Shanghai Weil Summer Tennis Camps will run from June 28 to Aug. 21, 2009, and are being limited to just 32 players for each of the one-week sessions. The academy will take place at the Shanghai Xuhui Natatorium in the XuHui District. The Xuhui Natatorium has four championship indoor tennis courts, two indoor swimming pools, full sized fitness gym, four badminton courts and a full dining restaurant.
“I’ve always been excited by the idea of tennis becoming a popular sport in China,” said Weil, who in March was in Shanghai to give three free clinics to 65 youngsters. “I’ve trained players from Hong Kong and Taiwan before and the passion that the Chinese have for tennis is unlike any passion I’ve ever seen from any other country in the world. They just love it.”
He added: “I think up until now the opportunities to become a better tennis player in China has only been reserved for the top, top, top players. One of my goals is to create a whole new generation of Chinese tennis players who have never really discovered how exciting the game of tennis really is. The goal is to create excitement within the Chinese community and to make them aware that tennis can open up many high educational opportunities for the Chinese in America.”
Weil noted that while badminton and table tennis are hugely popular in China, tennis ranks below basketball in popularity.
The Weil Academy located in Ojai, Calif., is the only full-time boarding tennis academy on the West Coast. The program has produced countless numbers of junior and professional champions as well as placed over 250 international high school players in prestigious American Universities like Stanford, UCLA, USC, UC Berkeley, Cornell and Brown, to name a few.
Weil said that world No. 7-ranked WTA player and Indian Wells, Calif., BNP Paribas Open champion Vera Zvonareva spent time at the academy during the spring training.
The Chinese youth will benefit from a 6 to 1 player-to-coach ratio. Some other highlights of the program include:
- Over 30 hours of tennis training and fitness
- Access to Weil’s international coaching staff
- Tactical and technical tennis drills
- Focused match play (singles and doubles)
- High Performance fitness program
- Eight hours of English language instruction
- Adidas and Wilson Prizes
The following are the one-week camp-session dates. Week 1: June 28 – July 3; Week 2: July 5-10; Week 3: July 12-17; Week 4: July 19-24; Week 5: July 26-31; Week 6: Aug. 2-7; Week 7: Aug. 9-14; Week 8: Aug. 16-21.