THIS is with reference to a news item on your sports pages regarding the Sindh Tennis Association (March 15). It is unfortunate that the reporter seems to have deliberately avoided the facts and international games rules, while also maligning the STA.
For instance, regarding the prize money in the tournaments, the fact is that the International Tennis Federation does not allow prize money for juniors.
Only a limited amount in kind is permissible. Hundreds of players enter our development series -- not prize money tournaments. The STA works on long-term planning of grooming them for higher national and international tournaments; the idea is to give maximum match practice.
In India, they organize 200 such talent series tournaments without any prize money.
In open Sindh Ranking championships, Pakistan’s top players always participate and get good prize money.
The report about STA said the sponsors spent a meagre amount and got good publicity.
The report also said that the organisers were making big money out of it. This is not true. All our circuit events’ budgets are pre-approved by sponsors with complete item-wise break-up.
Appreciating the transparency by our valued sponsors, we proudly state that it has continued for decades without any break. Moreover, all our accounts are audited and approved by the STA at its meetings.
The STA always welcomes NGOs to sponsor tennis. We do not ask them about the amount they spend on tournaments or coaching camps.
We are more concerned with the technical side and strictly follow codes and by-laws of the game. Tennis is among the few sports in Pakistan that receives a large number of small and big sponsors. This is hardly matched by other sports.
How could the writer suggest the PTF to take action against the STA for taking part in national games? Moreover, the PTF never issued any directives about participation in the Lahore Games.
SAEED HAI Sr Vice President of STA and Acting president of STA Karachi