LTA Youth National Series events to provide opportunities for GB’s best juniors to get back on court
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A series of new LTA Youth matchplay events have kicked off across the country this week to provide opportunities for some of Britain’s best juniors to return to competitive action.
The events follow on from the successful recent series of behind closed doors events for elite players staged at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre and will see over 500 juniors compete across six age groups, with the competitions being staged over three weeks at five regional venues – Nottingham, Repton, Aldershot, Millfield and Corby.
The Series features players from across various stages of the LTA Player Pathway, including those training at Local and Regional Player Development Centres and the National Academies, as well as players supported by the LTA’s National Age Group and the Men’s and Women’s Programmes.
British Tour wild cards up for grabs for 18 & under winners
Competitions for those aged 18 & under and 16 & under are being held at Nottingham Tennis Centre with 16 player draws for each of the next three weeks. The events will follow a standard compass draw format, and for the 18U events the winners will receive the offer of a wild card entry to test themselves in the women’s and men’s draws at the following week’s British Tour event at the LTA’s National Tennis Centre.
Claiming those spots after the conclusion of the first week’s competition in the 18U event on Tuesday were Kent’s Jack Pinnington Jones who defeated Sussex’s Lui Maxted 6-2, 6-3 in the 18U Boys Final, and Wiltshire’s Amelia Bissett who saw of the challenge of Eva Shaw from Nottingham with a 6-2, 2-6, 10-5 win in the 18U Girls Final.
'A unique fast-paced format'
Events for those aged 14U, 12U, 11U and 10U being held across all of the five venues with 12 players per age group per gender at each venue, using a unique fast-paced format that will see everyone play everyone over four days of competition using two FAST4 sets and a match tiebreak. The winners and two best runners up from these age groups at each venue will come together in September for a National Final.
Ian Yates, Head of the National Performance Pathway at the LTA, said: “The LTA Youth National Series is a really innovative series of events, providing young players across all stages of the LTA Player Pathway with the opportunity to compete in multiple level-based matches. We hope attending players are looking forward to playing a fast-paced high volume schedule, and we’re really looking forward to seeing lots of great action on court throughout the events and inviting the winners to join us for the Finals for the 14U to 10U age groups later in the year”.
LTA Youth National Series - Draws & ResultsLTA Youth National Series - 16U and 18U - Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3
LTA Youth National Series 14U - Repton | Aldershot | Millfield | Corby
LTA Youth National Series 12U - Repton | Aldershot | Millfield | Corby
LTA Youth National Series 11U - Nottingham | Aldershot | Millfield | Corby
LTA Youth National Series 10U - Nottingham | Aldershot | Millfield | Corby
LTA Youth National Series - Master List
Extensive measures to deliver events safely
All the events have been organised by the LTA in accordance with the detailed ‘Return to Competition’ Covid-19 Secure guidance published last month which permitted the return of recreational competition in England. The extensive measures in place include requirements for social distancing to be strictly observed by all in attendance, with racket taps replacing the traditional post-match handshakes, and enhanced hygiene and cleaning protocols, with hand sanitisers in place and procedures for cleaning items such as scoreboards.
Keith Carder, Head of Competitions at the LTA , said: “It’s been great to see the return of recreational competition in recent weeks at venues and clubs across the country, building on the huge interest we have seen in playing tennis and people getting on court. Tennis is a naturally socially distanced sport but the guidance we have put in place has meant tennis competitions have been able to resume safely – that’s no different for the LTA Youth National Series and we undertook venue visits to ensure all the necessary measures were in place.
“Competition plays a crucial role in the development of players and so we moved extremely quickly to get these LTA Youth National Series events set up and open for entries. We knew there was demand but there has been so much enthusiasm from players to be involved, get back out on court and most importantly have fun competing – that is something that is at the heart of everything we are doing around LTA Youth”.
LTA Youth: Getting more children to play and stay in tennis
LTA Youth is the LTA’s new and innovative junior programme developed to be fun, safe, inclusive and competitive. It was launched earlier this year to get more children to play and stay in tennis, whatever their ability and whatever their background.
With a fresh, modern approach, LTA Youth builds on the success of programmes like Tennis for Kids and Team Challenge to create a clear, compelling and engaging route from starter play through to competitions. It connects all tennis activity for juniors so the offer will look and feel the same, whether a child is playing in a school, park or club.