Grassroots programme praised by ITF officer
Anthony Jeremiah has heaped praise on the Pepperidge Farm Junior Tennis Series following his recent visit to Bermuda and wants to implement the local grassroots programme across the Caribbean.
For years Jeremiah, an International Tennis Federation development officer, has been impressed by Bermudas grassroots programme.
It was launched eight years ago after brainstorming by the Bermuda Lawn and Tennis Associations (BLTA) junior development committee.
Since then the Island has seen two talented juniors, Tyler Smith and Chris Rego, emerge and more than hold their own against the regions very best.
Both are now training full time at tennis academies in the US and Canada respectively, with Rego currently training at the ACE Tennis Burlington, Ontario, Canada, and Smith at the Bill Adams International Tennis Academy in Florida.
I have seen steady growth over the last seven years as the development officer and hope it is maintained with some additions, said Jeremiah.
Funding will always be the challenge for non-profitable organisations and the BLTA is no stranger to this. However, with long-term planning and the continued support of Government and especially corperate Bermuda, in time these challenges will be a thing of the past.
This series, sponsored by Bermuda Import and Export Company, provides an accessible and affordable entry into junior tennis.
It sets up groups of players for every level, from the entry level player who aspires to represent Bermuda abroad.
Groups of eight players play a round robin, completed with a tie breaker within a two hour time slot every Sunday.
The top two players with the most points graduate to a higher group.
BLTA president Coleridge Place said: On behalf of the executive board and members, our renewed five year development plan for 2012-16 provides the structure to expand our junior tennis events and opportunities.
The plan has given us the vision to create more initiatives for junior development in our programmes Island-wide.
During the recent visit of our Caribbean officer, we met with government officials, coaches and the Bermuda Olympic Association (BOA) and players parents.
It is important that we embrace the five-year plan and it has achievable annual goals.
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