Llockett McGregor, tournament director, says organisers welcome the return of the Mayberry Investment Limited Open Junior Tennis Championships after a two-year hiatus due to the novel coronavirus pandemic and believes the tournament serves as a catalyst for the growth and development of the game's young players.
The two-day event is scheduled for this weekend (Saturday, November 19, and Sunday, November 20) at the Liguanea Club in New Kingston.
The competition will involve approximately 60 players vying for trophy prizes in the boys'and girls' age-group categories of 12, 14, 16, and 18. In addition to the trophies, the winners in each category will also receive points towards their national ranking.
McGregor stated that tournaments like these provide a great incentive for children to strive for top rankings in the junior system.
"This is really the starting point; tournaments like these are development tournaments, and we normally look at it as vehicles towards education, and the end game is to get a university scholarship.
"The children start at like 12 or 10 and under, and by the time they reach like 17 or 18, they are looking towards representing their country or going abroad to further their studies by way of tennis scholarships," McGregor told the Jamaica Observer.
"This is like a steppingstone for them. I've been here for over 30 years, and we've helped over 90 kids get into universities through tournaments and ventures like these. Some of them are back here now; some of them are teaching tennis, and some of them are working in corporate Jamaica.
"We have helped dozens of kids through this programme, and we will continue to do so with the help of companies like Mayberry Investment Limited," he added.
Stephanie Harrison, assistant vice-president for marketing at Mayberry Investment Limited, spoke about her company's commitment to the development of the game.
"The Mayberry team is truly thrilled about this year's tournament and we are confident that it will continue to be a medium where players can hone their skills to participate in other tournaments, both locally and internationally.
"Mayberry has always invested heavily in sports islandwide, even those that are not very popular across the island. We believe that tennis continues to trend positively in Jamaica. Therefore, we will remain dedicated to doing all we can to develop the sport and the next generation of players who will be contributing to the development of our nation and the tennis industry," Harrison shared.
Janice Carby, sales and marketing manager at Liguanea Club, welcomes the sponsorship from Mayberry Investment Limited and promises a well-organised tournament.
"The Liguanea Club welcomes Mayberry once again; this is their 11th year of sponsoring this tournament, and so we want to extend our appreciation to the team. We look forward to competitive and exciting matches, and we do wish our players all the success and, most importantly, to have fun," Carby said.