10th May, 2011
Nigeriaâ€™s Emmanuel Idoko has been selected for an ITF/Grand Slam U-14 Junior Touring team which will compete in a series of junior tournaments in July and August in Europe.
Tennis Special gathered that the team are part of the ITF Development Programme, which is financed by the ITF and the Grand Slam Development Fund, GSDF.
The Team will be coached by Tunisian Chakib Jemaii and Mrs Terry Schweitzer from South Africa.
According to the tour schedule, the team will arrive in Paris, France on 30 June, for the training camp that will hold from 1-3 July.
The team will take part in the BNP Paribas Cup at the Stade FranÃ§ais in Paris from 4-10 July and then move to Netherlands to play in the Windmill Cup at Carl Gantois in Velp from 11-17 July. They will come back to France for the 13/14 des Hauts-de-Seine tourney in Rueil-Malmaison from 18-24 July.
The team will fly to Germany for the 34 .Int . Deutsche Tennismeisterschaft in Cologne from 25-31 July, while they will play their last tournament at the Lapperre Young Champions Cup, Hasselt, Belgium from 1-7 August.
Tennis Special learnt that Idoko made the team due to his performance at the recently concluded African Junior Tennis Championship in Botswana. According to the ITF, players who perform well at regional circuits are invited to join an international touring team. T
he ITF/Grand Slam touring team programme aims to facilitate the transition of talented players through regional and international competitions and onto the professional ranks. In 2010, there were 22 ITF/Grand Slam Touring Teams involving 165 players from 60 different countries.
Former ITF/Grand Slam Touring Team members include: Gustavo Kuerten (Brazil), Nicolas Massu (Chile), Nicolas Lapentti (Ecuador), Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi (India), Angelique Widjaja (Indonesia), Eleni Daniilidou (Greece), Younes El Aynaoui (Morocco), Paradorn Srichaphan (Thailand), Cara Black (Zimbabwe), Jarkko Nieminen (Finland), Florin Mergea (Romania), Marcos Baghdatis (Cyprus), Kateryna Bondarenko (Ukraine), Viktoria Azarenka (Belarus), Uladzimir Ignatik (Belarus) and Ricardas Berankis (Lithuania).
Special emphasis has been placed on junior tennis where regional tournament circuits have been developed and teams of young players compete outside their own region. In 2010, 25 regional circuits were supported by the Development Programme providing much needed competition for the best players at 18, 14 and 12 and under age groups across the globe (Central America and Caribbean, South America, Eastern Europe, Africa, Asia and Pacific Oceania).
GSDF Travel grants are also awarded to talented players from developing nations for a specific programme of tournaments. n 2010, 25 players from 17 countries benefited from grants to play in events outside their country.
In addition prize-money grants are awarded to assist developing nations with the hosting of entry-level professional events for men and women, to help provide competitive opportunities throughout the world. In 2010, the GSDF provided grants for 26 weeks of Menâ€™s professional events and 16 weeks of ITF Womenâ€™s Circuit Events.