Tennis trio to represent Bermuda at ITF World Junior Championships in El Salvador
Michael Wolfe, the Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association president, is confident the island’s representatives can hold their own at the ITF World Junior Championships prequalifier in El Salvador.
Zach McGuire, Tobiah Goodchild and Johnny Bart will compete in the Under-14 age group at the event, on what will be their international debut.
“It will be their first time carrying the Bermuda flag, so it will certainly be an experience both on and off the court,” Wolfe said. “But I do not doubt that they will meet the challenge head-on.”
The championships will be contested outdoors on the hard court surface at the Centro Nacional De Tenis in San Salvador from February 21 to 26.
“This event will see some 15 teams from the North/Central American & Caribbean zone compete for spots in a second round of qualifying in Mexico,” Wolfe added.
“We expect the competition to be tough as other nations, such as the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica to name a few, have entered.
“We will find out who will be in our group when the draw takes place.”
The trio were selected after successfully completing trials at the W.E.R. Joell Tennis Stadium last month and will depart for El Salvador on the weekend.
The draw to determine the remaining teams in their group will be held on Sunday.
The local trio will be accompanied by coach and former footballer, Neal Towlson, who is making his debut in the role and is looking forward to the experience.
“I am both excited and honoured to be selected as the WJTC Under-14 coach this year,” he said.
“This will be a new experience for me. I have a long history of being a participating player, being on the other side as a coach will be completely new. I am hoping my past experiences will provide good insight and inspiration for our team.”
Towlson is impressed by the hard work ethic and sportsmanship the island’s representatives have demonstrated in the build up to the tournament.
“I am very pleased with the team this year as they performed at a high level during their trial matches and are bringing excellent attitudes and sportsmanship to this event,” he said. “I am impressed with the work ethic of the players during training and the motivation to succeed.
“During the past couple of training sessions, we have been putting an emphasis on doubles matches, as I know all too well it can be the deciding factor in a win or a loss for the team.
“My goal as a coach is to use my knowledge of the game, and my experience as a player to motivate them to perform at their best and represent Bermuda proudly as I know they will.”