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Sports Last Updated: Jan 22, 2019 - 11:38:58 AM

Big increase in numbers for Junior Tennis
By International Tennis Club
Jan 21, 2019 - 9:25:37 PM

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Assembled group at the start of the event

A great sign for the future of Bahamian tennis is the large jump in young players from 20 to 35 participants at the Winterbotham IC Junior Series for the young 10’s and 12’s tennis players this last weekend. This is from the inaugural event last year to the same event this year.

In this first of the 2019 Series 35 most juniors played three matches in a Round Robin format on Saturday at The National Tennis Centre. Then with play offs for everyone on Sunday giving 4 or 5 matches in total.  This was the first of a series of four events  which will be followed by events at The Leyton Hewitt Academy at Albany in March, The Racket Centre at Baha Mar in May and The YMCA Courts in Freeport in The Fall. 

The concept is to increase this important development group and build camaraderie through competition that is not knock out so that they can all work together as friends to better all their games.  The events are geared to both boys and girls as tennis is a unique sport that is played by both and is a “Game for life” that can lead to College Tennis Scholarships.  The event is designed to take place over a single weekend and the juniors are given lunch each day to keep them together and help make friends while developing their games.

Prizewinners Michael Major, Saphire Ferguson, BreAnn Holgrave and BreAnn Ferguson - all originally started in tennis by Coach Bradley Bain ( also in photo).

The organisers are The International Tennis Club (IC) of The Bahamas who are a group of top  players who are giving back to the game.  There are 40 such clubs around the World (www.ictennis.net) with many famous players as members such as Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and Rod Laver who has recently allowed his name to be added to the title for a series of International Junior Team Events the IC also organise worldwide on every continent.

At this first event of 2019 the Boys 10’s winner was Miguel Smith with runner up Alec Hooper, the Girls 10’s Winner Millie Beukes with runner up BreAnn Holgrave,  The boys 12’s winner Michael Major with runner up Jackson Mactaggart and the Girls 12’s Winner BreAnn Ferguson with runner up Saphire Ferguson.  Additionally  “The Charlie Farrington” Sportsmanship awards  will be announced separately and presented at the start of the next event in The Winterbotham IC Junior Series at The Lleyton Hewitt Academy at on 9th and 10th March.

Chief organiser, and IC Vice President, Neil Mactaggart said he was delighted with the turnout and the attitude of the young players who are developing well in to a good group of competitive friends who are embracing the IC encouragement of sportsmanship with its motto of “Hands across the net, friendship across the ocean”.  Neil further added that this Winterbotham IC Junior Series seems to be effectively reaching out to a wide cross section of our community which is another objective of the series.

At the prize presentation IC President, Kit Spencer, thanked Ivan Hooper of Winterbotham Trust for their sponsorship that makes this very successful series possible.

Caylie Pain and Rachel Thompson ( from Freeport)

Marlee Martin in action

Marlee Martin and Sarni Johnson

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