#By TENAJH SWEETING
#Tribune Sports Reporter
#The Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) will host their junior nationals for the younger division starting this week Friday at 9am. The event will kick off for the youngsters at the National Tennis Center (NTC) and will run from June 10-11. The tennis action will feature the under 8 and 10 divisions and will be a first time nationals performance for many of the younger tennis players.
#Perry Newton, president of BLTA, talked about his expectations for this weekend’s start of the junior nationals for the under 8-10 divisions.
#“It’s going to be very exciting especially for the new players who will compete in the under 8s and 10s. We are trying to get them opportunities to compete and get the jitters out,” Mr Newton said.
#He added that for the coaches of the younger players it will be the opportunity for them to see what they have learned, and how they utilise their tools and abilities to solve problems.
#Although the younger tennis players will get their matchups out the way this weekend, the older divisions will take to the tennis courts from June 16-21. The other divisions to be played will include the under 12, 14, 16, and 18 categories which will lead to a new junior nationals champion being crowned. Between this weekend and next weekend the NTC will host 100 players coming from New Providence, Grand Bahama, Exuma, and Eleuthera.
#The divisions will have draw sizes of 32 and 16 as the sport steadily grows. Additionally, the tournament will also award ranking points for the older players and will also be played in best of three tiebreaker sets. However, for the young ones in action this weekend, they will play in shorter sets in a round robin format.
#Although there are over 30 first timers expected to play on the tennis court, there will also be some new umpires officiating the game as a busy month looms for the BLTA.
#“June, early July, would be our busiest period for the year,” Mr Newton said. “We came off the heels of our umpires training [course] and we are excited for the persons who will be doing it officially for the first time.”
#He added that they will have the opportunity to work and get some exposure at this weekend’s event.
#Automotive & Industrial Distributors Ltd (AID) will be the title sponsors for the 2023 Junior Tennis Championships.
#AID had some special words for the tennis community ahead of the nationals.
#“As an avid supporter of the tennis community in The Bahamas for over 30 years we are honoured to support this tournament . . . the company believes wholeheartedly that sport instills the discipline, perseverance, and responsibility needed to build well rounded productive citizens and is excited to be apart of this remarkable sporting event,” the company said.
#This year’s event will also be sponsored by Coca Cola and RMS Insurance Agents.
#Event organisers are encouraging interested individuals to come out and support the young tennis athletes in competition.