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ITF official Anthony Jeremiah impressed with the SVGTA

ITF official Anthony Jeremiah impressed with the SVGTA

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The current national Tennis programme undertaken by the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association is seen as impressive by Trinidadian Anthony Jeremiah, who is the International Tennis Federation Development Officer for the region.{{more}}

Jeremiah, on his routine swing through the islands last week, spent three working days here assessing the status of the tennis set up, and updating the association of the latest developments.

In his evaluation, Jeremiah told SEARCHLIGHT last Saturday afternoon at the National Tennis Centre at Villa, “St. Vincent (and the Grenadines) has the best structure of all the islands, from the mini tennis programme, the primary schools, the grass roots development, all levels, I am impressed”.

“I have taken a look at their five year plan up to 2011 and that is the way to go”, he added.

“For the past two and a half years, I have visited here six times, and I can tell you, there are some talented players”, Jeremiah observed.

The ability of Yannick Tash caught the eyes of Jeremiah. According to Jeremiah, Tash’s Tennis talent and academic background could see him landing a scholarship soon.

Jeremiah said that apart from the programme, the local tennis players and those in the decision making positions have at their disposal, “excellent facilities”.

But Jeremiah wants to see more players making the climb up the rungs of the Tennis ladder.

“What I want to see is more players getting to the high performance level, and the level one coaches here stepping up and start doing more level two work”, Jeremiah projected.

“There are a number of Junior Tennis tournaments with all expenses paid offered by the ITF to South America and Europe, but it is up to parents, as you know they are stressing a lot on the academics”, Jeremiah revealed.

These tournaments are said to last sometimes up to six weeks, which means the players will be missing school during these periods.

“At the junior level, I also want to see more mental toughness of the players,” he further stated.

The ITF Development Officer wants the change of thinking that Tennis in the region is a “rich sport”, hence is blessed with infinite financial resources.

But Jeremiah wants to differ, and stated that Tennis can do with some of the monies that are being channelled into other areas and other sports.

While here, Jeremiah worked with several of the top young players preparing for overseas assignments. Nine young players are heading for Trinidad and Tobago for the IBM Junior Circuit from March 24-29.

Johnathan Perry, Kevin Huggins, J’rai Joyette-Da Silva, and Xeno Daize, make up the boys team. Halimah Michael, Daneya Charles, Rhianna Bruce Lyle, Simone and Paige Veira complete the local contingent. Another fifteen are slated to journey to Barbados for the First Caribbean Bank Junior Championships from March 31 to April 5. (RT)

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