Chandigarh: Indian tennis legend Vijay Amritraj says promoting the game at the grassroots level is one of the main aims of the Champions Tennis League (CTL).
Each of the six teams in the League will have two junior players, who will get the golden opportunity to travel, train and mingle with and get tips from top tennis players. "Most importantly two juniors on each team who would be traveling with the team and we do hope they would be inspired as I was many many years ago when I had a chance to play with some great champions at a very young age. That's what truly inspires a young boy or a girl," Amritraj said at the Logo launch of the Punjab Marshalls team.
Amritraj joined the 'Bhangra troupes' to perform the traditional Punjabi dance as he was welcomed by the team owner Gurpreet Singh. "It's been quite some time since I have been here. I was also delighted to watch my son Prakash play here many years ago," he said.
Gurpreet Singh said he has pumped in USD one million as franchise fee. Asked what was the motive in taking up the venture, his wife Kudrat said, "As a child I was always into sports. I was a gymnast, but we did not have good coaches which would have enabled us to take up our passion further. I always had a passion that we need to do something for the budding talent."
"That's when we got the opportunity and we came to know about CTL, we had a word with Amritraj and things got going and now here we are. This is like a dream come true for us."
Amritraj thanked the owners "for taking up the banner of Punjab Marshalls and literally putting Chandigarh on international tennis map".
"The region is very important for tennis development in the country. The people enjoy what they are doing. We are expecting great things from the Marshalls in the course of few weeks and years to come," he said.
Amritraj further said "the challenges we face is the ATP and the WTA calendar, which is very very full, so obviously, it is hard to get the players, but if we can expand to eight cities in fourteen days, that would be my preference. But we have to walk before we can run".
He also said that the names of sponsors, who would be on board, would be announced soon. Punjab Marshalls boast of India's No. 1 singles player Somdev Devvarman along with the tournament's highest ranked men's player David Ferrer of Spain, former great Greg Rusedski and Garbine Muguruza.
The tournament will be played from November 17-26 across India. The Marshalls will launch their campaign against Delhi on November 17.