World class sport comes to Bali with LIGA.Tennis. Images: Oscar Munar.
Hi Dmitry and Ayu. So what made you want to open a world-class tennis centre and academy in Bali?
Our mission is pretty straightforward: to create a better life for everyone through sport and tennis. We want people (especially youngsters) to put aside their gadgets, get out of bars and do more sports. We’re strong believers that sport makes happier and healthier lives, and tennis is one of the healthiest sports on the planet. That’s why we launched our free Liga.Tennis app in 2017 and decided to open Liga.Tennis Center & Academy in May 2019.
Can you give us the lowdown on LTCA and what makes it special?
Located in Umalas, LTCA is a high-end tennis centre with six professional ITF-standard courts, fully equipped classrooms, a tennis cafe, pro-shop and lounge. State-of-the-art innovations for guests include video streaming with match playbacks and a tie-in to our Liga.Tennis app. With more than 330 sunny days a year, LTCA provides the best possible tennis conditions for families, groups, amateurs and professional players. But LTCA is more than the sum of its facilities. It’s going to be a game changer for tennis in Indonesia and Southeast Asia.
Sounds like you have some pretty lofty plans afoot. Can you tell us a bit more about your goals?
Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day, so we’ve split our goals up by years. In 2019, we’ll mainly focus on our after-school junior academy, individual and group lessons, some tennis tourism and possibly inviting some ATP or WTA players to train late in the year. In 2020, we’ll launch the Liga.Tennis Foundation, as well as a nationwide coaches development programme and national tournaments for adults and juniors. By 2021, we want to be organizing ITF Juniors, Challengers and Futures tournaments and starting from 2022, hold an ATP/WTA 250 professional tennis tournament in Bali.
Can you tell us more about the Liga.Tennis Foundation?
The foundation is a project very close to our hearts. Together with a strategic corporate sponsor, we want to organize a framework for developing junior talent in Indonesia. We plan to run regular tournaments across the country and have our coaches scout juniors with the most potential. Those players will be offered the opportunity to move to Bali with their parents for a one-month trial with all expenses covered by Liga.Tennis Foundation.
Throughout the month, the players will work closely with coaches at our academy on the courts and in the classrooms to see if they have what it takes for us to offer them a long-term contract based on a free-of-charge or subsidized scholarship. It’s not just about talent but also work ethic and attitude on and off the court. Even if it doesn’t work out for these players in this initial outing, we will be supporting grassroots tennis around Indonesia and will be following all of the players we have worked with via the foundation closely.
Speaking of coaches, who do you have working with you at the moment?
We currently have a team of world-class coaches and will be expanding the ranks as we go. Drawing from both local and international talent, our coaching experts are all qualified and experienced with years of coaching in Bali and worldwide. Among them are R. Jordan A. Sanchez, Paul McCabe, Zamir Mohamed Yacob, Kadek Pursika and Komang Kurniawan, who represent four different nationalities and tennis backgrounds.
What programs do you currently offer?
We have the Junior Academy for players aged four to 18 years old, individual lessons, packages, tennis camps and retreats, casual court hire and wheelchair tennis. In addition, we have regular fun group lessons for all types of tennis lovers nearly every day. For example, our Cardio Tennis class is an active tennis session (think a cross between a spinning class and tennis) for all levels. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never picked up a racket before!
The green movement is happening and huge right now in Bali. What is LTCA‘s policy on environmental issues?
We care. We’re currently educating against single-use plastic bottles at the site and are also looking at organising events to fight plastic pollution on the island that we can promote through our Liga.Tennis app to reach thousands of users worldwide. Our office team will also wear uniforms that are made from 40% recycled plastic. We’re currently talking to sponsors and prominent people in the environmentalist sphere to try and keep our impact to a minimum.
Sounds good to us. So how do we sign up?
Anyone can book a court or lesson online with a few taps on our app regardless of whether you are a member or not. However, members will also receive special benefits like one hour of free court booking every day up to five times a week, priority court booking, discounts on food and beverages and group lessons, and one introductory individual lesson with any member of our coaching team. You can apply for membership via our website or the app.
Last but not least, do you have any exciting events planned this year?
Yes, we are organising the Liga.Tennis Open 2019, which will be held from August 3 to August 11. This special event will feature cash prizes of IDR100 million, and the tournament will be open for all levels of competitive players with various categories to accommodate players from club to international level. We are already on track to attract more than 300 players including confirmed groups from various countries. All matches will be streamed on YouTube and the Liga.Tennis app and we anticipate a large audience to attend big matches. And like an ATP or WTA tournament, we will be holding on-court interviews for selected matches. Visit our website for more details and to sign up!