There have been competitions in Japan, Italy, South Africa and Chile for the IC Junior challenge. Now on Saturday 14th, Sunday 15th and Monday 16th December The Bahamas will be hosting The North American IC Junior Challenge at The National Tennis Centre with teams from The USA, Mexico, Barbados and The Bahamas. They will compete for the last place in the worldwide finals to be held on the prestigious grass courts at Wimbledon next July.
The event is for a team of two boys and two girls in the 16 & under age category. All juniors compete as one team playing both singles and doubles against all the other teams.
The event is put on, at no cost to the juniors, by The International Tennis Club Council (IC) which has organisations in 40 countries around the world. The IC consists mainly of players who have played internationally, or won national titles, and wish to continue the camaraderie and competition of international events such as Davis Cup as they get older. Their motto is “Hands across the net, friendship across the ocean”. In addition to their adult events the IC organisation sponsors this International Junior Challenge on every continent and also runs a number of charitable tennis development programs in underdeveloped areas around the world.
Bahamas IC President Kit Spencer, who is also on the main IC council with responsibility for co-ordinating these IC Junior Challenges around the world, said “This is a tremendous opportunity for the juniors taking part to gain valuable experience, see what friendships tennis can bring, and compete for the opportunity to go to the world finals at Wimbledon in 2014.”
This event is held every two years with the worldwide finals being played in the year between. Two years ago The North American event was hosted by Canada where a strong Bahamian team came second in a very close finish with Canada for a place in the 2012 worldwide finals held in Australia. Currently The Bahamas has 6 boys and 2 girls in the top 500 juniors in the world 18 & under rankings which is remarkable for the size of our country. All four Bahamian juniors who played in the last event in Canada are in these rankings. However they are now too old for this competition. The Bahamas will announce its team shortly. It will be a young team of mainly 14 & under juniors. It will be valuable experience for them and in two years’ time they could form much of the basis for a potentially strong team in this competition.
As part of these events the IC organisation puts on a separate clinic for under privileged kids. The junior players will help out which The IC believes is a experience for them too and consistent with IC philosophy. This will take place at The National Tennis Centre at 2pm on Saturday 14th December after the morning competitions between countries.
For further information contact Kit Spencer 363-2930
Caption: Previous 2011 Bahamas team of (l-r) Danielle Thomson, Simone Pratt, Kevin Major and Christian Cargill at the event in Canada. All now ranked in the top 500 juniors in the world.