Junior Tennis served well

The Inaugural Season of The Diamonds International Cayman Islands Junior Tennis Circuit is upon us and officially kicked off at The Courts Tennis Center at The Ritz-Carlton with Grand Prix number one held on the weekend of 5 December.

The circuit is made up of four tournaments (three Grand Prixs and The Masters Invitational tournament) which are designed for Cayman Islands juniors to gain valuable experience in tournament play as well as motivate other aspiring junior tennis players to improve their game.

The junior circuit is also made up of six categories: Under 16 Boys (U16), U16 Girls, U13 Boys, U13 Girls, U10 Boys and U10 Girls. There is a first and second place winner in each category, with the winners bringing home the ‘gold’ and ‘silver’ trophies for winning their division.

In addition to the trophies the real prize is receiving a national ranking for all juniors that participate in the circuit. The Tennis Federation of the Cayman Islands plans on using this ranking to determine and select juniors to go to the Under 13 Caribbean Development Championships [which is held in a different host nation in the Caribbean each summer].

The circuit runs from December 2008 until June 2009. In addition to their trophies, players will be awarded points for each tournament with the top point scorers being invited to The Masters in June 2009, held at The Courts Tennis Center.

Director of Tennis, Thomas Neuert and his staff at The Ritz-Carlton designed the tournament concept and format, along with help from the CI Tennis Federation, the CI Tennis Club, Torres Top Tennis, Cayman Sports and Diamonds International.

‘This Circuit is just what is needed to improve junior tennis in Cayman’ said CI Tennis Federation President Jeremy Superfine.

‘Match practice is critical and our junior team that will compete in the Caribbean Development Championships needs to be prepared for intense match play.’

This past weekend was the second grand prix in the series and was hosted at the CI Tennis Club in South Sound. The event had 25 junior participants and was held over two days starting on Friday afternoon and ending on Saturday afternoon.

All juniors participating received a ‘grab bag’ with both an event t-shirt and beach tennis bats compliments of Diamonds International.

In addition to the great tennis the CI Tennis Federation also held a baked and hot foods sale to raise funds for youth tennis here in Cayman.

‘The fundraiser was a huge success’ states Cassandra Pedersen, National Tennis Executive for the Tennis Federation.

‘We raised CI$397 with our food sales, which is one of our best fund raisers to date! We would like to thank Ragazzi Restaurant for providing the hot food for our sale and all of our volunteer bakers who made cakes, cookies and several other treats.’

The next event weekend will be held in the beginning of April and hosted by Cayman Sports International and Torres Top Tennis. The circuit will take place at the Camana Bay tennis courts at Cayman International School. More information will be posted at a later date.

‘We’re looking to increase the numbers participating in the circuit and invite all juniors who play tennis to participate. This is a chance to get spotted and have fun,’ Pedersen said.

For more information contact the CI Tennis Federation at [email protected].