THREE players from host country Trinidad and Tobago were among 12 youngsters who participated in an ITF (International Tennis Federation) junior regional training camp, at Shaw Park, Tobago, recently.
Players were selected from seven of the ten countries which were represented in the ITF 13 & Under Caribbean Development Championships at the same venue at the end of August, and this country's Joshua Arnold, Emma Davis and Scott Hackshaw were among them.
With star player Hackshaw missing a significant portion of that one-week tournament because of heat exhaustion, T&T ended up sixth. The Suriname team went on to capture the title.
Hackshaw, the national under-12 champion, could only place 12th among the male competitors in the tournament, but was still selected for the camp as he is considered one of the most promising youngsters in the country.
Hackshaw has already won double crowns in five tournaments in his brief career, and also tasted success outside the Caribbean when he captured the under-14 crown in an event in July at Midtown Athletic Club, in Florida, USA.
The youngster was not only voted Under-12 Male Player of the Year by the Tennis Association of Trinidad and Tobago (TATT) last year, but was also named Overall Male Player of the Year by his club, Tennis Patrons.
Davis, who reached the quarterfinals in the "Development Championships", was also a champion in the "Midtown" tournament as she took the under-12 crown.
The youngster, who two years ago won the under-10 singles title in the first tournament she ever competed in, won the under-14 doubles crown in the ITF Junior Tournament in Tobago in August as well as two singles titles at home this year.
Arnold usually plays second fiddle to Hackshaw, but the Tobagonian shone brightest in the "Development Championships" when he reached the semifinals of both singles and doubles. Arnold's partner, Kobe James, Adam Scott and Daynelle Des Vignes were the other members of the T&T squad in the "Development Championships", but they were not selected for the training camp.
The camp was designed to give the players the opportunity to work together and challenge their skills, physically, mentally, emotionally, technically and tactically. It lasted seven days, and two of the leading coaches in the region, John Groede of Suriname and T&T's Curtis Gonzales were at the helm.