National youth tennis players, Kyle Joseph and Shakir Elvin, left Antigua this week for the USA, where they will pursue athletic scholarships at separate universities.
Elvin, who left on Wednesday, is attending the Alabama A&M University while Joseph who departed Antigua on Monday is attending the Jackson State University.
President of the Antigua & Barbuda Tennis Association (ABTA) Cordell Williams said that although the entire executive played its part in ensuring the two athletes were successful on and off the courts, he finds personal satisfaction in seeing the players excel.
“All these players that are now in university started under my stewardship and it’s good that the association could continue to guide them and help them to get a higher education through tennis,” he said.
“I expect them to go and make the association proud to start with and also Antigua & Barbuda and to continue setting guideline for others to follow because, once we put students out, other schools continue to write us looking for players; so it’s a good avenue.
“All we wish and hope for is that they continue to do what others before them have done,” Williams added.
The tennis boss is confident that many more young and talented players will be afforded similar opportunities to study and train in the USA.
“(On Wednesday) I organised a playoff between our top players because every year we have to send in a ranking to ITF and unfortunately only three showed up in Jody Maginley, Carlton Bedminister and Ron Murrain but it was good to see Jody take down veteran Carlton 7-6,6-3,” Williams said.
“Carlton is still a good player but training and playing competitive are two different things and Carlton saw that (Wednesday) because even though he was hitting the ball good and is in good shape, he wasn’t as match fit as Jody was,” he added.
Both former students of the St Joseph’s Academy (SJA), Joseph is pursuing studies in business with a minor in marketing while Elvin is studying architecture.