16 December 2012

Anguilla Tennis Academy develops future Caribbean athletes

British Virgin Islands delegation sees Anguilla's Tennis Academy as model

L-R: Mitch Lake, Jeremiah Frett and Steve August

The Anguilla Tennis Academy (ATA) is serving as a model for other Caribbean islands wishing to develop a facility for children in particular.

The latest interest shown in the ATA has come from the BVI Lawn Tennis Association. A two-man delegation, comprising Jeremiah Frett, the organisation’s Public Relations Officer, and Steve Augustine, an Architect, visited Anguilla several days ago and met with Mitch Lake, the ATA’s Founder and President.

“From our research, prior to coming to Anguilla, we felt the ATA was a model worth investigating and we came to see if we could adopt such a model or various aspects of it in the Virgin Islands,” the BVI Lawn Tennis PRO told The Anguillian.

“The information shared would advance the efforts of the BVI Lawn Tennis Association to build a tennis academy because it created a bench-mark for us to work from. We do not have to reinvent the wheel. Mitch shared his experiences from humble beginnings to the world-class academy that you have in Anguilla.”

Mr Frett said his organisation was still in its infancy. “We are in discussion with a prospective land owner and Steve Augustine, from SA Architect, has agreed to design the facility,” he told the newspaper. “We found Mitch to be very passionate about developing the sport of tennis not just in Anguilla but throughout the Caribbean. His insightfulness, know-how and willingness to share such information deem him as an ambassador to the sport of tennis. The facility and programme of the ATA under his leadership is commendable.”

Mitch said that one of the things he could do would be “to foster a relationship whereby in my summer camp, either a week before, or after, I may look to share some of my international coaches with the BVI.” He explained that, in such a way, the Association there could “create a spark in tennis, in order to push the grassroots programme, which would encourage Government officials and other persons in the BVI to realise that there is a market for tennis.”

Mr. Lake was certain that “once we can show that the sport is growing, the facility will get the funding it needs. I can help them in that regard.”

In the meantime, Mitch Lake presented a supply of rackets from the Anguilla Tennis Academy to Mr.Frett for the use of the BVI Lawn Tennis Association. “We are truly grateful for the unexpected kind gesture of the rackets donation,” the Association’s PRO stated. “These rackets will be distributed to children in our junior programme.”

Mr. Frett was grateful for Mr. Lake’s assistance and generosity during the two-day visit of the BVI delegation.