The name “Aliassime” alongside those of John McEnroe and Justine Henin
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After John McEnroe in the United States, Justin Henin in Belgium or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in France, now the name “Aliassime” will in turn be attached to a national training program for future tennis champions .
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The “Team BNP Paribas Young Talents Aliassime” was officially launched last weekend at the Indian Wells tournament, where Félix Auger-Aliassime is in action. As is the case elsewhere in the world, the program overseen by the French bank BNP Paribas will financially support young tennis players so that they can reach their full potential.
The Canadian program will count 12 boys and girls aged 11 to 14 among the most talented students who are currently enrolled at Académie Aliassime, located at Club Avantage de Québec.
This partnership makes Sam Aliassime, Félix's father, proud. The coach had already mentioned last year, when his son had just won his first title in Rotterdam. “It's a long-awaited moment,” he said from Indian Wells on Monday.
“This project will allow young people to continue working with their coaches, thanks to the support from the bank”, explained Mr. Aliassime.
A first tour in Africa
But that's just one of many parts of the partnership, the tennis man added. “It also gives young people the chance to travel around the world to participate in tournaments, which, for children who come from less fortunate backgrounds, is not easy. »
And there will also be “an educational component”, mentioned Sam Aliassime, who thanks the bank for its commitment. “We don't just want to teach them the forehand, the backhand or how to travel. We will give them lessons on doping, good manners, a few language lessons, he listed. It is really something very broad. »
Memories made 😁
Participants in the @BNPPamericas Young Talents Teams shared the court with legendary McEnroe brothers and Felix Auger-Aliassime.#TennisParadise pic.twitter.com/VTSerQffEM
— BNP Paribas Open (@BNPPARIBASOPEN) March 12, 2023
“Because, as I often say, there is a one in 3000 chance of developing a tennis champion,” continued Mr. Aliassime. That's why we want to touch on several aspects, including education. We also want to give them the chance to reach their full potential. We want young people whose values include work and commitment. »
To take part in the project, participants will have to join the Aliassime Academy. But the owner's door is open to all Canadians who eventually want to participate.
Three of the first young people who will take part in this initiative have already been selected. They will also travel to Abidjan, in the Ivory Coast, in April, where they will take part in a week-long tennis camp, before taking part in two ITF junior tournaments.
Inspired by Indian Wells
Some young participants also made the trip to Indian Wells with Sam Aliassime, where they were able to play tennis with former world number 1 McEnroe in the last few days.
This trip is also important in the eyes of Felix's father. It is that five years ago, he had the trip to California in the company of Gabriel Diallo, who was then his protege and who turned professional at the end of the last year, after having played on the circuit American university.
“It brings back memories! launched Mr. Aliassime. I wanted Gabriel to be able to see the pros at work. And these young people, who in turn have the chance to see the professionals, I hope that will encourage them to be in the same place as Gabriel in five years, or even further. »