BOT: Beijing Oriental International Tennis Development Center
Director: Ms. Zhang Yaorong
Their website: http://www.bottennis.com/ (unfortunately, nothing in English)
I have been involved since the beginning with BOT, participating at several of their events, like the one on18 December in “Couleurs de vie” (Fortune Mall near Fortune Tower in CBD)(www.couleursdevie.com.cn).
BOT is fully supported by the Beijing Municipal Government.
The idea is to develop tennis as a sport for the general public, both old and young, and develop the tennis industry. There are specific activities and initiatives for different target groups. Every year BOT organizes the “Beijing International Veteran Tennis Tournament”, with seniors participating from all over the world.
The goals are different from the 6th Sense Potter’s Wheel International Tennis Center (http://www.6sensetennis.com/). Initially there was the idea to work with Justine Henin but a commercial deal did not materialize.
The event of Saturday was held in the large French complex in Fortune Mall (Pierre Leduc, General Manager), the first time I made it there. There are totally 3 floors with cafés, Hong Kong Food, French food, a Curry restaurant and a European city themed corner complete with carousel. My first visit but for sure not the last one!
The event was also sponsored by Vandergeeten (the major importer of Belgian goodies such as Stella Artois, Hoegaarden, Leffe and Belle-Vue). Frederik Esbensen was on the spot to give me my liquid food. Hoegaarden beer flowed freely and even made the TV guys pretty happy.
Pictured giving speeches are Ms. Zhang and the new Director General of the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Sports, Mr. Li Yingchuan. Also pictured: Piere and Paul and Rowan Simons of Clubfootball and of course Sun & Valerie.
After the reception I joined the private dinner (great veal steak!) together with the organizers. An artist made some on the spot portraits, including of Ms. Zhang.
We also had some ballroom dancing. Cool… and classic music.
Later I will post some pics from earlier events.