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Bhushan Tennis Academy - Helping youngsters to achieve their dreams.

Naga BhushanAll work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Quite apparently, this phrase was coined to underline the significance of sports in day-to-day-life. Bhushan Tennis Academy (BTA) at Andheri in Mumbai is a unique academy, in a class of its own, which not only helps its young trainees to climb up the ladder at the national and state ranking tournaments, but also guides them to secure full scholarships worth Rs 30 to 40 lakhs in the prestigious Universities of the United States.

One wonders why the Universities in US seek Indians instead of the local students? Naga Bhushan, the director of the BTA will satisfy your query ...“The standard of tennis is very high in the US, with the youngsters turning towards the professional circuit immediately after stepping out of the schools. Very few choose to play for the Universities. That is why the Universities in the US offer scholarships to Asians for the purpose of representing them in inter-university tournaments.” Indeed this has proved to be a boon for Indian students from the middle-class families who cannot even dream of such an expensive proposition. They can now pursue academics in US and enjoy the game of tennis as well.

Naga Bhushan established the first private tennis coaching center in the western suburbs at Andheri YMCA in 1984. After 16 years, the scenario has changed completely with the more than 100 tennis coaching centers mushrooming from Andheri to Santacruz. Bhushan established BTA in 1988 after years of accumulated experience as a coach in the European countries. He worked as a chief professional for Powa Sports, Holland in 1985, and as a Director for tennis in Camp Candensis, Essex, UK in 1986. In 1987, he conducted tennis coaching clinics in Singapore, UK and US.

The serveThere are several BTA trainees who had enjoyed a successful academic stint in the Universities of US. At the moment, they are gainfully occupied with lucrative jobs in the US and other European countries. Mohit Raut joined BTA at the age of 6. He completed his HSC (Science) from Bhavans College, and progressed to obtain a prestigious scholarship in North Carolina University in US. He completed a 5-year integrated course in Business Management and is currently working for a prestigious finance company in Atlanta.

Teaching sessionsKuntal Joshi is another another BTA trainee who did her HSC from Mithibai College, Mumbai, and was selected for a 3-year integrated course in Commerce by Pfeiffer college. Although she was an average performer in the local circuit and ranked only 8th at the national level in the under-18 category, she was recommended by Bhushan, as Pfiffer needed a girl to represent them in intercollegiate tournaments. At present, she is working for a finance company in the NewYork.

Mohit Raut of BTA AcademyAmerican Universities offer scholarships to Indians who are high achievers in sports, and can score a minimum of 50 percentage in academics. The scholarship comprises of free study, boarding, lodging, food and travel allowances for the tournaments. Bhushan advises his students to collect the brochures of American Universities from the American Information Center at Churchgate, Mumbai. He also guides his students to apply to Pfeiffer college, Temple University, Knox University, Chicago University, and Washington University because it is easier for Indians students to secure admission into these institutions as the competition is comparatively higher in the University of Florida, and University of NewYork.

How is BTA important in the scheme of things of American Universities? Well, in addition to the certificates and letters of recommendation, Bhushan himself talks to the authorities in American Universities over the phone and convinces them of the aptitude and talent of his wards. In a nutshell, BTA facilitates the easy access of scholarships from American Universities and helps its trainees to scale new heights in their career. In the words of Mohit Raut, who expressed his gratitude in a letter to his tennis guru Naga Bhushan .... "Without your support and encouragement, I could not have completed my graduation in the US nor seen the statue of Liberty."

By: Wasim Siddiqui


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