As the national tennis team calendar has come to an end for the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA), Head of Junior Development Mrs. Kim O’Kelley hosted a Rewards Gathering at the National Tennis Centre on Saturday, September 5, 2015, for all those hardworking juniors who have represented the country this year, coaches who travelled with the teams and those who work at the National Tennis Centre.
Among the players acknowledged and recognized were: Joshua Turnquest, Iesha Shepherd, Donte Armbrister, Sydney Clarke, Elana Mackey, Sydni Kerr, Oneal Mortimer, Ahmad Thompson, Jacobi Bain, Trenton Fowler, Sierra Donaldson, Afrika Smith, Emma Weech, Perjae Major, Denali Nottage and Anthony Burrows Jr. Noteworthy were: our Girls’ 14U Team (of Sydney Clarke, Elana Mackey and Sydni Clarke) finalist at the World Juniors Competition in March; our Boys’ 14U Team (of Donte Armbrister, Jacobi Bain and Trenton Fowler) semifinalist at the World Juniors Competition; Iesha Shepherd, finalist at JITIC 16U tournament in July; Donte Armbrister, finalist at JITIC 14U tournament in August; Sydney Clarke, a semifinalist at JITIC 14U tournament in August and Emma Weech who won all of her singles matches at the 12U Caribbean Team Championships in August.
Players recognized for personal accomplishments at ITF/USTA tournaments were Iesha Shepherd, Gabriela Donaldson, Jacobi Bain, Sydney Clarke, Elana Mackey, Donte Armbrister, Sierra Donaldson, Afrika Smith, Wayne Russell III and Lauryn Daxon.
Receiving the “Sportsmanship Award” were: Sydney Clarke (for the girls) and Donte Armbrister (for the boys). Head, Junior Development noted that these two (2) persons were chosen because of their dedication to the sport by making themselves available for national teams this year and to training in the Developmental Programs when they were offered; for good work ethic; and good behaviour in both national and international events.
Coaches acknowledged for assisting with this year’s national teams were: Ashwood Hall of Freeport, Bradley Bain, Ceron Rolle and Ricardo Demeritte. Coaches recognized at the National Tennis Centre for their contribution toward the growth of tennis were: Dugald Small, Larry Rolle, Malkovich “Steve” Taylor, Kevin Major, Vincent Andrews, Kevin “Sandy” Reid and William “J.J” Fountain.
Special recognition was also given to Ms. Darnette Weir, General Secretary, BLTA and Ms. Barbara Carey, former General Secretary, BLTA and Director, National Tennis Centre for their unselfish contribution to the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association. On hand to give words of encouragement was Mr. Tommy Turnquest, appointed Chairman of the National Tennis Centre and several Tennis Parents who have been the bedrock behind their child’s accomplishment.
The BLTA looks forward to another productive year in 2016 and thanks all those donors who have supported the work of the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association throughout the year.