The primary schools outreach programme, which gives local children tennis lessons for 10 weeks of the year, starts on 30 April.
ABN AMRO Bank, which is the longest established Continental European bank in the Channel Islands and has had a presence in Jersey for 40 years, has supported the local club for more than eight years, funding the club's growing junior schemes.
Phil Harvey from ABN AMRO Bank said that the private bank is delighted to be continuing its support of Les Mielles and its junior members. ‘We have watched the junior tennis programme grow and develop and we are very proud of what Joel and his team have accomplished. It is very important for us to support the local community and we’re delighted to be continuing our support of Les Mielles. It is a special year for both ABN AMRO Bank and for Les Mielles, as we both celebrate anniversaries – we’re celebrating our 40th year in Jersey and the tennis club is celebrating 10 years of the schools outreach programme,’ said Mr Harvey.
The scheme is aimed at introducing the sport to youngsters and improving their tennis technique in a fun environment. In 2013 the lessons were available to four local primary schools, Mont Nicolle, La Moye, Les Landes and St Peter, with more than 250 children from 10 school classes taking part. This year 300 children will be involved.
‘I was always hopeful that we could keep the outreach programme going every year, so 10 years is an amazing achievement. It also means that every child in those four schools have received two summers of tennis related ball skills,’ said Joel Camp, who manages the primary school outreach programme.
‘ABN AMRO’s continued sponsorship has enabled us to carry on giving free tennis lessons, allowing us to introduce a sport to many youngsters who may not otherwise have had opportunity to try it out. The great thing is that many of these youngsters then choose to continue with tennis once the 10-week programme is finished.’
The money pledged by ABN AMRO will be split between the primary school outreach programme and the junior matchplay programme. The junior matchplay programme is still in its infancy and will be developed throughout 2014, with tournaments running between April and December. The programme is aimed at spotting talented youngsters and nurturing them by developing the skills required to compete in local and national competitions.