RAYMOND SELECTED ONITF/GRAND SLAM TOURING TEAMFriday 2nd December 2011
Antigua & Barbuda’s D'Jeri Raymond has been selected for an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Grand Slam junior touring team which will compete in a series of junior tournaments during January and February 2012 in South America.
The team is part of the ITFDevelopment Programme, which is financed by the ITF and the Grand Slam Development Fund (GSDF).
The team will be coached by John Goedeof Suriname.The players will first attend a training camp in Cali, Colombia,from January 11 to 15.
They will then contest fourtournaments. The first tournament will also be played in Cali, Colombia, from January 16 to 22.
Theywill also compete in Guayaquil, Ecuador, from January 23 to 29; Lima,Peru, from January 30 toFebruary 5 and Cochabamba, Bolivia, from February 6 to 12.
President of the Antigua & BarbudaTennis Association (ABTA) Cordell Williams said Raymond is only the secondAntiguan to be selected on the ITF/Grand Slam touring team and it a testimonyto the work that is being done in the twin-island-state by the nationalgoverning body for the sport.
“It’sgood for us. This is the second time in the history of our tennis associationthat a female has been selected to take part on the ITF touring team. The firstfemale we had was H-Ann Johnson,” Williams said.
“So itshows that over the years the association has continued with the developmentstage of our junior players and from the association’s point of view we are veryhappy for D’Jeri.”
Williams said the opportunity will give Raymond a great chance to assess her game as shestrive to go to the next level.
Withthe aim of raising the level of tennis worldwide and increasing the number ofcountries competing in mainstream international tennis, the ITF DevelopmentProgramme includes a broad range of initiatives in less developed countriesranging from the grass roots to Grand Slams.
Activities include ITF/Grand Slamtouring teams, funding for junior and professional tournaments, trainingcentres, coaches education, the supply of tennis equipment and the ITF JuniorTennis Initiative – a 14 & under player development programme, whichencompasses Tennis10s (School Tennis Initiative) and Performance TennisInitiative programmes.
Special emphasis has been placed onjunior tennis where regional tournament circuits have been developed and teamsof young players compete outside their own region.
In 2010, 25 regional circuits weresupported by the Development Programme providing much needed competition forthe best players at 18, 14 and 12 & under age groups across the globe(Central America & Caribbean, South America, Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and Pacific Oceania).
Players who perform well at theseregional circuits are invited to join an international touring team. The ITF/Grand Slam touring team programmeaims to facilitate the transition of talented players through regional andinternational competitions and onto the professional ranks.
In2010, there were 22 ITF/Grand Slam Touring Teams involving 165 players from 60different countries.
During the period 1986 to 2010 over US$74 million has been invested by the ITF and the Grand Slam nations in tennisdevelopment activities in 150 countries worldwide.
In 2010, US $3.8million was spent onthe Development Programme with US $2.2million being invested by the ITF and thebalance of US $1.6million contributed by the Grand Slam nations to the Grand Slam Development Fund partly from proceeds generated from the ATP World TourFinals.
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