Whether it’s a slick five-star resort or blaring beach club, development in Bali powers on as usual. But sometimes, you can’t help but wonder if it’s all a bit samey-samey, with winning tourist dollars being the main consideration of developers.
Which is why we were so excited to hear about the new Liga Tennis Center & Academy (LTCA), a six-hectare tennis and lifestyle complex — or “tennis paradise,” as it’s billed on the website — that’s due to open in May.
This’ll be a first for Bali, and with courts too-often fully booked at the island’s only similar facility, Finns Recreation Club, LTCA will likely be fulfilling high public demand, and at more accessible prices too.
If you’re not fussy about times and playing under cover, you’ll be able to nab a court for as little as IDR70,000 (about US$5) per hour.
Which brings us on to the facilities.
There will be four covered hard courts, all equipped with live-streaming facilities; two classrooms for “mental tennis” coaching; a café overlooking the court and grandstands (no full bar, but we’re told that they’ll sell Bintang); a tennis store with re-stringing machine; men’s and women’s locker rooms, and sports massage facilities. On a separate plot just meters away, there will also be a fitness center with an infinity pool overlooking newly manicured gardens.
If a “tennis paradise” exists, then this is it.
Coconuts Bali met up with the CEO of the project, a friendly, tennis-mad Ukrainian named Dmitry Shcherbakov (or “Dima” to his friends). An ex-football player, Dima’s newfound passion for tennis is clear — he tells us that he hopes to attract more people to the game, particularly kids: “My dream is to sit in the player’s box at Wimbledon, watching one of our former LTCA juniors compete.”
Cue LTCA’s after-school academy, which will follow international, games-based coaching programs. Here’s some good news for the parents, too — the guys at LTCA will play “nanny,” picking the kids up from school and ferrying them to their tennis lessons.
At IDR150.000 (about US$10.50) per hour-long session, or IDR2.000.000 (about US$141) for 20, it’s a competitively priced service. And, Dima’s brought together Bali’s best coaches for the project: an international team of accredited instructors, led by Filipino-born, American-trained head coach Jordan Sanchez.
Plans are also underway to launch the Liga Tennis Foundation, an initiative that will help to discover Indonesia’s emerging tennis talents. Promising juniors will be chosen from free pop-up tennis coaching sessions and sifts all over the archipelago, with the best being offered a spot in intensive month-long training camps at LTCA in Bali. Flights, accommodation, food, and coaching will all be covered by the foundation.
“If a kid shows real potential during the camps, we’ll offer them the opportunity to become a full-board student of LTCA. We’ll cover all expenses for that kid, and send them to compete in international tournaments in Australia and other countries. In other words, we’ll prepare them for a professional tennis career,” says Dima.
It’s a cool idea. Funding sports scholarships of this caliber will require sizeable financial investments, which of course, relies on sponsorship — here’s hoping those sponsors pull through.
You don’t have to be a pro — or aspiring pro — to use the facilities. Social hitters and complete beginners will also be catered to at LTCA. Dima tells us that his team will be organizing friendly matches, weekly group lessons and club social bashes, and that players can simply go in with the option to brush up on their backhand, or hone their half-volley technique with individual coaching.
All of the services will also be linked to the Liga Tennis App, Dima tells us will come with subscriber-only benefits and discounts.
Soft opening in May, date TBC. See you on court!
Liga Tennis Center & Academy is at Jl. Bumbak Dauh, Umalas
Opening hours: TBA