– Governing body establishes campaign to raise €25k
for the Elite Junior Players-
January 15, 2015
JAMES McGEE was eliminated in the second round of the Australian Open today, but Ireland’s involvement continues in the junior qualifiers next week and Tennis Ireland has launched a significant fundraising campaign to further develop its elite junior players.
The Elite Players Fund, launched on online crowdfunding platform PledgeSports.org, has been set up to raise €25k to provide for players travel expenses and to allow their coaches to attend international competitions with them.
This move comes off the back of a remarkable year for Ireland’s junior squad, which has led to Bjorn Thomson representing Ireland in the Australia Open qualifiers next week.
It has also given Tennis Ireland’s performance director Garry Cahill belief that Ireland will have players competing regularly in Grand Slams in the future.
The former Davis Cup Captain said: "We are very excited by this initiative with PledgeSports. There is a huge amount of talent in the BNP Paribas National Academy here in Dublin, but it’s very necessary for these players to compete regularly at an international level in order to gain experience and build ranking points.
"We strongly believe that some of these players will be playing regularly at Wimbledon and the other grand slams in the near future. However, they need help to get there."
PledgeSports founder and chief executive Richard Pearson added: "We have run many successful funding campaigns for players here in Ireland, UK and the US and, as a huge tennis fan, I am very aware of the financial struggles most players have to deal with.
"Now, through PledgeSports these athletes can reach out to their fanbase and even commercial sponsors for help. With the right resources these tennis players can go all the way.
"We are delighted to be helping Tennis Ireland with this initiative and I hope to be watching some of these elite juniors on television someday soon."
James McGee, ranked 224 in the world, and Louk Sorenson, ranked 217 in the world, both played in the first round of qualifying matches.
Sorenson lost, but McGee progressed to the second round match, beating Slovakia’s Norbert Gombes 1-6, 6-3, 6-2. He then lost 6-3, 6-4 to Australia’s Dane Propoggia.
A REMARKABLE YEAR IN IRISH JUNIOR TENNIS:
Bjorn Thomson (ITF Ranking 83)
October: Bjorn reaches quarter-finals in ITF, Grade A, Osaka Mayor’s Cup – World Super Junior Tennis Championships.
May: Bjorn reaches semi-final in ETC Cup, Budapest
January: Bjorn reaches quarter-final of the Grade 1 in the ITF, Copa Gatorade, Caracas.
Simon Carr (ITF ranking 653)
November: Simon reached the semi-final in Liverpool’s ITF AEGON Junior International.
December: Simon wins the Irish Senior National Indoors.
Georgia Drummy (ITF ranking 706) (TE U14 ranking 23 (3/2014)
July: Georgia wins the Belfast City ITF Junior Tournament, Belfast
March: Georgia reaches the quarter-finals in London’s Nike Junior International, and reaches the semi-final, in the TIM Essonne, Sainte-Geneviève-des-Bois.
Shauna Heffernan (TE U14 ranking 402)
July/August: Shauna reaches the quarter-finals in the Tennis Europe Dublin, week one and two
Zara Ryan (TE U14 ranking 96)
November: Zara reaches the quarter-finals in the Aegon Junior International at Edgbaston.
October: Zara is a finalist in the Gran Canaria Yellow Bowl in Telde.
July: Zara reaches the semi-final round in the Tennis Europe Dublin, week one
May: Zara is a quarter-finalist in the Kopavogur Open in Reykjavik-Kopavogur
Caoimhe Duffy Niblock (TE U14 ranking143)
November:Caoimhe is a semi-finalist in the Aegon Junior International in Edgbaston.
August: Caoimhe is a finalist in Tennis Europe Dublin, week one.
For further details contact:
Tennis Ireland , founded in 1908, is the national governing body for Tennis in Ireland. It has more than 200 affiliated clubs and stages Ireland’s most prestigious Tennis events, including the Shelbourne Men’s Irish Open Championship.
PledgeSports.org provides a unique online funding and commercial sponsorship platform for sports people, teams, clubs or events who need to raise money. It gives people the chance to pursue their dreams, while also building their profile and fanbase.