ANTIGUAN OFF ON COSAT TOURThursday 12th January 2012
D'Jeri Raymond left Antigua Wednesday for Cali, Columbia to participate in the COSAT 2012 tour. Raymond was selected by the ITF (International Tennis Federation) as a member of the 2012 ITF grand slam touring team to South America. The tour includes a four (4) day training camp which commences on 12th Jan 2012 in Columbia followed by four (4) weeks of competition which spans Columbia, Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia.
The Antigua and Barbuda Tennis Association, which has made the development of junior tennis a priority, thanks the ITF for giving Raymond this opportunity and wishes her the very best over the next four(4) weeks .
The player and her team also thank patron ABI Bank for funding her expenses while on this tour. ABI Bank has stood with D'Jeri through 2011 and continues to give the kind of support necessary to help in the development in her game. This and the work of her team, especially Coach Cordell Williams, has contributed to the great strides made by the 13-year-old player in 2011, including a number 1COTECC ranking and doubles and singles titles in Trinidad, St. Lucia, and Suriname.
As Raymond, a 2011 National Youth Award winner for her performance in sports, is still growing into her strengths as a player, the tour represents an opportunity to continue the development of her game. She is the first Antiguan selected for this team since the late 1990s. If the St. Anthony’s student performs well, she could be invited to join an international touring team as the ITF/Grand Slam touring team programme aims to facilitate the transition of talented players through regional and international competitions and onto the professional ranks.
As part of that process, special emphasis has been placed on junior tennis where regional tournament circuits have been developed and teams of young players compete outside their own region. In 2010, 25 regional circuits were supported by the Development Programme providing much needed competition for the 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).
The ABTA continues to encourage youth participation in tennis as a means of not only athletic but personal development.
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