The proclamation of the combination of Thodoris Glavas, candidate president of EFOA in the upcoming elections of 27 March.
The field of Tennis is at a very special juncture in time. The great successes of great Greek athletes have given the sport the visibility it has sought for years. Interest in tennis has grown and the opportunity for a real spring of the sport in our country is the best in many years.
Unfortunately, however, despite the conditions that exist, the tennis world does not seem ready to take advantage of this opportunity. The efforts of the clubs that are fighting a daily battle to promote the sport are not getting the support they need. The facilities are quite behind compared to other countries. Quality sporting events are scarce. Continuous training of coaches and agents is lacking.
The time has come for tennis to make a new dynamic start. And with the Greek Friends of Tennis Federation (EFOA) as a protagonist to give an overall boost to the sport. For the benefit of athletes, practitioners and all the clubs that support it.
The time has come to move “to the next round”. To put in place a comprehensive plan for the development of tennis in our country. With hierarchical priorities, measurable goals and the rallying of every creative force in every part of the country.
We want to express this demand for renewal and a new dynamic start. And to move forward with the whole tennis world on a creative path forward.
Our priorities in the New Era for tennis are:
Supporting our clubs and athletes.
Support our clubs and our athletes. We need practical support for their efforts. In their simple, daily, material needs, but also in the training of their staff. The EFOA must be able to support the needs of clubs to participate in international tournaments, so that this is not just a privilege for those who can afford it.
Promote the sport to make it even more popular.
Tennis is no longer considered an elite sport. But many more steps are needed to make it more popular. This is the key to attracting sponsors, new investors, and to claiming larger grants from the state. In addition to the use of our prominent athletes (such as Stefanos Tsitsipas and Maria Sakkari), we need systematic promotion of the sport through the organisation of events, the promotion of its history and the implementation of actions to disseminate it, especially among young people.
Strengthening the infrastructure and people of the sport.
Upgrading and expansion of fields and facilities, in cooperation with the State and Local Government. Creation of indoor courts (e.g. “balloons”) for the winter months, where there is a need. Federal Camps throughout Greece. Increase of training seminars for all tennis players (coaches, athletes, referees, managers of clubs and associations, parents). Closer cooperation with our recognized association of coaches, who are the driving force of the sport, is also essential to support its work.
Upgrading of competitive sport.
Creation of a National Training Centre (NTC) to support and develop talented athletes, with integrated programmes to help them in their development. Upgrading of the Panhellenic Championships with better promotion and greater support from sponsors. Organisation of intercollegiate championships with the participation of athletes of all ages. More even distribution of races, supporting clubs of the region, as well as those that have significant racing action. Organisation in our country of more international junior and men’s/women’s tournaments. The aim is, through the coordinated effort of the federation and investors, to organise at least one major professional ATP/WTA tournament in Greece, as well as many smaller international matches of all categories, in order to give opportunities and experience to our young athletes.
The goal should also be the rise of Greece at European/international level (Davis Cup, BJK Cup etc.) and its promotion as a country that serves the sport with ethics and efficiency.
Strengthening of the sport of Backgammon (Squash) – Water polo (Paddle) – Beach tennis.
Development of the other sports represented by the EFOA, with the aim of their wider spread, the support of their competitive programmes and their better competitive representation within and outside the borders.
Financial autonomy and modernisation of the way the federation operates.
The EFOA cannot be solely dependent on the financial support of the GGA, as is currently the case. It must seek to generate revenue and find sponsorships in order to support and finance actions to support athletes and clubs.
It is also necessary to establish procedures for broader participation of all clubs in decisions, transparency and accountability. The Federation, through its public presence, must itself uphold the ethos of the sport we all serve.
Goal: Always on the field.
Our goal is for the people of tennis to stay forever with the sport. It is important to develop a plan to keep active athletes in the post-school age group (18-33yrs) who, now mature, have much to offer the sport.
Also, the NFOA could play a catalytic role in developing veteran ratings and organizing high quality and safe tournaments. The activation of veterans of all ages and the intense activity they can demonstrate, in addition to their positive contribution to the sport, could be an incentive to attract investment and sponsorship.
The time has come for the demands that have been on the minds of the tennis family for years to become reality. Building on what has been positive to date and adding new ideas, new faces and above all a new momentum. With the cooperation of all of us and with the EFOA in a leading role, Greek Tennis can enter a new era and conquer the international position it deserves.
President Candidate of EFOA
Candidates of the Combination