As a young tennis player, Stephan Lhuillier had the opportunity to develop his game from some of the best instructors and coaches in the land.
After all, his father is sportsman-businessman Jean Henri Lhuillier whose passion and support for sports, including tennis, is unquestioned.
Stephan also had the chance to interact with tennis trainers, particularly in the provinces whenever he played in age-group tournaments sponsored by his father’s firm, Cebuana Lhuillier.
From what he has learned, this 17-year-old was prompted to do a personal advocacy and put up the Pinoy Tennis Trainers Program.
The program was aimed specifically at helping struggling tennis trainers to improve their skills and knowledge and improve their lives as they can get paid better.
The program, with national coach Roland Kraut at the helm, was launched last year with three legs.
And with its initial success, Stephan ramped up ten legs nationwide this year.
The program had so far completed seven legs including those held in Bohol, Negros Oriental, Butuan, Cebu, Bulacan, and Palawan.
The last three legs for the year are scheduled in Oroquieta, Cavite, and Olongapo, and incidentally, all the locations are also venues for the tennis grassroots development program initiated by his father and is currently the longest-running program of its kind in the country, with the two programs perfectly complementing one another–one aimed at young players and the other at trainers and coaches.
The best thing about this program, which is a combination of lecture and on-court instructional drills, is that it is free of charge for all the participants with some of them even receiving free tennis rackets as a result of Stephan’s Adopt-A-Racket program.
Some companies and private individuals like Babolat and Dunlop and national players Treat Huey and Ruben Gonzales also helped in making the whole Pinoy Tennis Trainers truly a unique, sustainable program.
In two years’ time, Stephan is looking at a yield of 200 new coaches, all former trainers, something that he speaks with pride, “ I am happy about the response we have received from the participants, they really appreciate the program knowing it will benefit them and the sport as well, it is good to know that with this developmental program, I am able to help change and improve lives, “ said the young Lhuillier.
This early, he is already looking far beyond 2017, aiming to hold an annual tournament for the program graduates, at the same time collect a total of 500 tennis rackets.
He also aims to provide the chance to some of the top graduates to have the much needed international exposure in international tournaments and international coaching seminars, something that he actually already started last year.
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