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HomeNewsLocal NewsFifteen young tennis players representing SKN in OECS Nations Invitational in Antigua...

Fifteen young tennis players representing SKN in OECS Nations Invitational in Antigua & Barbuda

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by Kevon Browne

St. Kitts and Nevis (WINN) – In the St. Kitts-Nevis Tennis Association’s efforts to have its young tennis players participate in more regional and international tournaments, 15 young tennis players are currently in Antigua & Barbuda for the Annual OECS Tri-Nations Invitational Tournament held in Antigua.

The invitational runs from December 10-16, 2022, at the Cortsland Hotel and will be between St. Kitts and Nevis and Antigua & Barbuda. St. Lucia was expected to send a team to the invitational but withdrew due to the high cost of travel in the region.

The names of the players that have been selected to participate in the OECS Nations Invitational are –

Players Category

1. Gabriel Duggins – 12 U12 Boys

2. Shreya Rawat – 10 U12 Girls

3. Levoncia Browne*- 11 U12 Girls

4. Arianna Blanchard – 12 U12 Girls

5. Danielson Lybert- 14 U14 Boys

6. Khalil Burroughs- 14 U14 Boys

7. Michael Duggins- 14 U14 Boys

8. Matthew Owen- 13 U14 Boys

9. Cayden Powell- 13 U14 Boys

10. Levon Browne – 13 U14 Boys

11. Pavel Panfilov- 13 U14 Boys

12. Jayda Browne – 15 U16 Girls

13. Shawn Dickie – 15 U16 Boys

14. Kaeden Bradshaw- 15 U16 Boys

15. Sushant Rawat – 16 U16 Boys

Three coaches from the association are with the players, the President of the Association – Watkins Chiverton (who is leading the delegation), National coach Sheldon Chiverton and National coach Ludis Francis.

Jermin Abel, Public Relations Officer for the St. Kitts-Nevis Tennis Association, explained why the association felt the need to have the players participate in the tournament.

“What we realise is just playing among themselves in St. Kitts and Nevis is not necessarily going to get them to the highest level. It’s good to have that training and practising and all of that, but we’ve been working over several years in terms of getting them to compete with their peers in various islands Antigua, Trinidad, Jamaica wherever it is.”

The PRO spoke of the training sessions the juniors underwent prior to this tournament, especially after the negative impact the COVID-19 pandemic had on the sporting industry.

“We had a number of activities to enhance and develop the mentor program for the juniors in St. Kitts and Nevis. We had a number of tournaments. We had a number of practice sessions because we realised that since the pandemic, a lot of players were not being engaged a lot, so this year we held a number of tournaments. Based on those tournaments, we picked a team of some of the best junior players who had been on the circuit for quite some time.”

The St. Kitts-Nevis Tennis Association has significant aspirations for the players in the associations with hopes of having players compete in the Davis Cup, a World Cup of tennis and the largest annual international team competition in the world founded in 1900 by Dwight Davis.

“We want to see players from St. Kitts and Nevis be represented at the Olympics, at the Davis Cup.”

Abel thanked the St. Kitts-Nevis Olympic Committee for its help in pushing the tennis association to get more of its players to engage in regional and international tournaments.

In 2019 an international tennis tournament, the Liamuiga Oualie Tier 5 Junior Tournament, was held in St. Kitts and Nevis and saw five nationals of the Federation competing. Abel said the five have since graduated from the junior International Tennis Federation (ITF) circuit. The association is now attempting to raise the next set of juniors to compete on the international tennis courts.

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