Former Wimbledon tennis champion, Richard Krajicek, will be returning to the island this week, thanks to ABN AMRO Bank N.V. Jersey, to continue his support for the development of junior training in the sport.
The tennis star, ranked number four in the world in the 1990s, was first in Jersey last summer. During his stay he visited primary school pupils and helped train around eighty children as part of Les Mielles Tennis Club’s successful Schools Tennis Programme, which is also sponsored by ABN AMRO Bank N.V. Jersey. On Wednesday, Richard will be visiting Les Mielles Tennis Club once again where he is planning to spend the morning coaching selected groups of juniors.
Commenting ahead of his visit, Richard said, “I am really looking forward to visiting Jersey again and to spending more time with some potential tennis stars of the future, like Guernsey’s Heather Watson. ABN AMRO Bank’s ongoing sponsorship, both in Jersey and the Netherlands, has provided a platform for many youngsters to experience first-class coaching, regardless of their social background.”
Les Mielles Tennis Club’s Head Coach, Joel Camp, believes the visits are extremely important for promoting the sport on-island, “Our juniors were so incredibly excited to have Richard visit and coach them last year. I believe he has had a tremendous impact on all those that he met and it certainly gave the work that we do here at Les Mielles, which is a community club, a huge boost.”
Patrick Crowley, Country Executive of ABN AMRO Bank N.V. Jersey said, “We are delighted once again to support Joel and the fantastic work he is doing within the schools. We are a local Bank, with a presence on the Island for over 35 years and so are committed to investing back into the community.
“Richard is an excellent ambassador for the game and we are fully committed to supporting his work to encourage and support the development of the sport in schools, clubs and particularly inner-cities.”
Richard began playing tennis at the age of four and went on to win both the Dutch under-12 and the under-14 National Championships twice.
In 1996 he won the men's singles title at Wimbledon, the only Dutch player to have ever done so. Having retired from professional tennis, the Dutchman has become heavily involved with his own Foundation in Holland, which has set up seventy-five playgrounds in inner-city neighbourhoods across the country.
Since 2004, Richard has been the tournament director of the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament in Rotterdam.
Richard’s visit will also include a coaching programme in Guernsey similar to the one he is doing here in Jersey. The visit to Guernsey on Tuesday will be his first.