At the beginning of July, Rob Seward from The CI Tennis Club took a group of junior players to compete in the Blue Mountain Caribbean Junior Tennis Championship 2017 at the Liguinea Club in Kingston, Jamaica.
Callum Theaker, Harrison Clough, Jake Booker, Alex Claybourn, Oskar Bjuro, Jack Lomas and Sebastian Bjuro all played some phenomenal tennis and Cayman came out top with Oskar Bjuro winning the 12&U and Alex Claybourn winning the 14&U.
Callum Theaker, Jake Booker and Jack Lomax have stayed on in Jamaica to compete in the ITF Jamaica Junior COTECC being held this week. We look forward to hearing how the players get on....
Last month I had the opportunity to travel to Florida and spend an amazing week at IMG Academy. I participated in the Game Changer Program that involves a daily private session, group sessions, gym work and classroom learning. My day started at 6:30 am with a private lesson with my personal coach Beau.
This was followed by a group session consisting of various drills with Head Coach Jorge and several other coaches. After 4 hours on court, I was off to the gym for physical conditioning and then an hour of a classroom session on nutrition, strategy, leadership, mental aspects and speed. After lunch it was back to the courts for match play followed by another classroom session. When I first read my schedule, I thought I would be very tired after the first day considering how much work we were going to be doing! But I was wrong! I loved the whole experience and by the end of the week I wasn’t as tired as I thought I was going to be, and I could see how much I had improved. It was so much fun training all day and to have the opportunity to do so with so many different players around my skill level was a real treat. By the Wednesday afternoon match play session, Coach Beau, Coach Gorge and Coach Pete spoke to me about being a full-timer at the academy and extended an invitation to attend the Academy for the upcoming next two school years. Furthermore, the coaches awarded me the “G” award, which recognizes outstanding work ethic, sportsmanship, and intensity during every training session. It was so amazing to be singled out and recognized by the coaches and the Academy. I would love to attend IMG Academy full time and to represent Cayman tennis on an international level. This would be a great opportunity to take my game as far as it can go and hopefully fulfill my goal to play collegiate tennis, but I will need to find some financial sponsors to help with the cost of the tuition.
Even though the goal of the camp is to improve your tennis and come home with more things to work on, I made fantastic new friends with my room mates, other tennis players, and simply just other campers and full-timers from all over the world: including Guatemala, Arizona and Indonesia. Overall, the IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis camp was a fantastic experience; I would go back in a heartbeat!
On Friday 26th May Uli Hoppe and his fantastic coaching team at The Courts, Ritz Carlton held a mini tennis event which was open to all children aged between 3 - 8 years old. 38 children joined in the fun games and activities during the one hour session. It is hoped this will become a regular event and we can spread the tennis love to as many youngsters on island as possible.
It was again a great PwC Tennis Tournament last weekend at The Ritz-Carlton with 27 players competing in age categories 10, 14 and 18 and under. We had a rough start on Friday with all-day rain, therefore we had to play the first rounds on Saturday, with the 3rd/4th place, semifinals, and finals on Sunday. Under very windy conditions, the kids produced a fabulous display of tennis!
In the 10 and under, Kahj Clarke (who came from Jamaica just for the tournament) took the title against a great playing Digby Robinson in three sets 5-7, 6-2, 10-8. Third place went to Jake Fagan who won in a close match against Albert Berksoy 5-7, 6-3, 10-6. Both kids played a great tournament as well!
In the 14-and-under, No.1 seed Jakub Neveril won against Sebastian Bjuroe 6-3, 6-4. Sebastian had a great match in the Semifinals with Willow Wilkinson who ended up winning third place against Zach Jackson 6-3, 6-2.
In the 18-and-under, No. 1 seed Jade Wilkinson and No. 2 seed Lauren Fullerton had an exciting match with Jade being the close winner 7-6(5), 6-1. Third place went to Jake Booker with a win over Alexander Claybourn 6-4, 6-3.
Overall the quality of tennis was great to watch and the Tennis Federation of the Cayman Islands is looking forward to hosting the next PwC tournament on August 25th-27th at The Ritz-Carlton.
Photo Credits to Martin Wilkinson
Write up by Uli Hoppe