The Sentinel (Stoke)
April 27, 2004
SECTION: Sport; Racquet; Tennis Youth; Pg. 45
LENGTH: 381 words
HEADLINE: Staffs serve up feast of events for young aces
BYLINE: Tennis Jackie Thorley
BODY: Tennis Staffordshire is promoting a bumper junior tournament programme this season, with a message urging youngsters of all standards to take part. The wide range of events are geared to players who are just being introduced to competitive tennis through to the highly rated hot-shots.
The programme started last weekend with a newly-launched county grand prix meeting for Staffs performance players.
The under-10s event at Wolverhampton was the first of three, with similar competitions scheduled for under-12s and 14s.
Children with any LTA rating are eligible to take part in the Keltruck Outdoor Matchplay one-day tournaments.
The series opens with an under-18s event at Tipton on May 2. Later dates have been set aside for other age groups.
One of the most popular attractions is expected to be the JNR Tennis Challenge, involving a series of eight tournaments held throughout the summer at clubs across the county – culminating in a Staffs final in August.
It is aimed at youngsters who have worked their way through mini-tennis and are looking to clinch their first LTA rating.
The opening event for under-10s takes place at Draycott on May 15, with the under-12s a week later.
A trip to the All-England Club beckons juniors who take part in the national ‘Road to Wimbledon’.
Clubs will hold singles competitions for under-14s, with the winning girl and boy earning a place in the county finals in June. The overall victorious pair will travel to SW19 to take part in the national finals.
Meanwhile, local authorities will be putting together teams of under-13s for the Staffordshire Youth Games at Burton-on-Trent in June.
The format will involve two boys and two girls, who are not LTA rated, taking on opponents from other local authorities on a round-robin basis.
Points will be up for grabs in Tennis Staffordshire’s Fab Four.
Results from singles matches in three sanctioned tournaments will be added together to find the most consistent players of the summer.
The programme culminates in the Drayton Mercedes-Benz Junior County Closed in August, with titles at stake in five age groups.
More details and entry forms for all the tournaments are available from Tennis Staffordshire, telephone (01785) 811360.