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Sports Last Updated: Apr 18, 2018 - 4:48:01 PM

Record young juniors in tournament at Lleyton Hewitt Tennis Academy
By Diane Philips & Associates
Apr 18, 2018 - 4:37:35 PM

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The winners with organisers and Winterbotham sponsor at Prize Presentation

Nassau, Bahamas - In the second of the Winterbotham IC Junior Series for 10's and 12's there were record numbers participating in this young group of developing players. So it was a busy weekend at The Lleyton Hewitt Tennis Academy at Albany for the first Bahamian Tennis Tournament to be held there.

The concept of the event is to create a group that can come together and develop together through "Round Robin" play in a social environment that does not mean getting knocked out after one round and going home.  So all players get several matches. A lunch is also provided for the juniors so they stay around, get to know each other and make friends. Before each days play and at the prize presentation a talk is given to the juniors and their parents to help establish the right attitudes to development and enjoyment of tennis - the "game for life".

As well as the local IC Organisers at the event were two International Davis Cup players who talked to the juniors. This was Fernando Gentil who played for Brazil and won the Orange Bowl as a junior beating Jimmy Connors. Fernando, an IC member, emphasised that at the age of the juniors present he was not the best but concentrated on development and did eventually become the best junior in Brazil. Fernando said "the event should not be all about winning today".  The other Davis Cup Player was Grant Doyle, the Academy Director who played for Australia and talked to the kids about his Academy here in The Bahamas and how to develop as a tennis player.

12 & Under Boys winner Michael Major & Runner Up Khai Rees

Feedback from both parents and juniors was excellent. The format is proving popular and everyone is looking forward to the next in the series at Baha Mar on 19th, 20th May with many already signed up. Some overseas players are expected to come to this next event and strengthen the field giving greater experience to our young Bahamian Juniors.

After the Round Robins there were "play offs" all the way down the groups. At the top of each group the winners were:  Patrick Mactaggart (Boys 10's), BreAnn Ferguson (Girls 10's), Michael Major (Boys 12's), Kaylee Kanuka ( Girls 12's).

There was also the "Charlie Farrington" Sportsmanship award given in memory of that popular local tennis enthusiast by his family. For this the juniors themselves were given a vote. The organisers took this in to account and it was awarded to Nikki De Veere.

For more information on The Winterbotham IC Junior Series please contact one of the organisers Kit Spencer (kitspencer@hotmail.com  Tel 363 2930), Neil Mactaggart (neilmactaggart@yahoo.com Tel 359-0900) and Mickey Williams (Tel 557-8307).

For more information on The IC (International Tennis Clubs) go to www.ictennis.net

Referee Mickey Williams talks to the juniors

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