RAYMOND SELECTED ON ITF/GRAND SLAM TOURING TEAMMonday 5th 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 ITF Development Programme, which is financed by the ITF and the Grand Slam Development Fund (GSDF).
The team will be coached by John Goede of Suriname. The players will first attend a training camp in Cali, Colombia, from January 11 to 15.
They will then contest four tournaments. The first tournament will also be played in Cali, Colombia, from January 16 to 22.
They will also compete in Guayaquil, Ecuador, from January 23 to 29; Lima, Peru, from January 30 to February 5 and Cochabamba, Bolivia, from February 6 to 12.
President of the Antigua & Barbuda Tennis Association (ABTA) Cordell Williams said Raymond is only the second Antiguan to be selected on the ITF/Grand Slam touring team and it a testimony to the work that is being done in the twin-island-state by the national governing body for the sport.
“It’s good for us. This is the second time in the history of our tennis association that a female has been selected to take part on the ITF touring team. The first female we had was H-Ann Johnson,” Williams said.
“So it shows that over the years the association has continued with the development stage of our junior players and from the association’s point of view we are very happy for D’Jeri.”
Williams said the opportunity will give Raymond a great chance to assess her game as she strive to go to the next level.
With the aim of raising the level of tennis worldwide and increasing the number of countries competing in mainstream international tennis, the ITF Development Programme includes a broad range of initiatives in less developed countries ranging from the grass roots to Grand Slams.
Activities include ITF/Grand Slam touring teams, funding for junior and professional tournaments, training centres, coaches education, the supply of tennis equipment and the ITF Junior Tennis Initiative – a 14 & under player development programme, which encompasses Tennis10s (School Tennis Initiative) and Performance Tennis Initiative programmes.
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).
Players who perform well at these regional circuits are invited to join an international touring team. 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.
In 2010, there were 22 ITF/Grand Slam Touring Teams involving 165 players from 60 different countries.
During the period 1986 to 2010 over US $74 million has been invested by the ITF and the Grand Slam nations in tennis development activities in 150 countries worldwide.
In 2010, US $3.8million was spent on the Development Programme with US $2.2million being invested by the ITF and the balance of US $1.6million contributed by the Grand Slam nations to the Grand Slam Development Fund partly from proceeds generated from the ATP World Tour Finals.
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