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HomeNewsArchivesY4Y Tennis Tournament a 'Win-Win' for All

Y4Y Tennis Tournament a 'Win-Win' for All

Davian Lewis-Flynn, 7, recieves her trophy from Junior Philanthropist member Nicholas Midler and first lady Cecile deJongh.More than 80 young tennis players from throughout the Virgin Islands took part in the second annual Youth 4 Youth, or Y4Y, tennis tournament at the St. Thomas Yacht Club this weekend.

The three-day event, sanctioned by the Virgin Islands Tennis Association, welcomed competitors ranging from 7 to 18 years old from all over the U.S. Virgin Islands and Tortola in the British Virgin Islands. Players enjoyed meeting and making new friends as the round-robin event progressed. Some were in team uniforms representing their island’s tennis clubs, others sported their own individual style.

Players younger than 10 years of age used a shortened tennis court and low-pressure tennis balls to create a fun and forgiving atmosphere, but that did not diminish the intensity exhibited by the 20 youngsters.

St. Croix player Davian Lewis-Flynn was enjoying her first off-island tournament, representing the newly formed Ground Strokes Tennis Club.

“This is a fun day for everybody,” the smiling seven-year-old said.

A medal for everyone made all of the players winners at the Y4Y tournament.The tournament was sponsored by Junior Philanthropists, a group formed in 2011 by seventh-grade students at Antilles School. The students hoped to help less-fortunate young people from the area. Group member Nicholas Midler, a tennis enthusiast, suggested the idea for the tournament, and Saturday he and his mother, Monica Midler, were a blur of volunteer activity from the very first ball served.

Preferring the title of “happy and delighted mom” to tournament director, Midler gave accolades to the parents who were on hand to support, cheer and insure that each player was on time and at the proper court for match time.

Joined by their fellow classmates, charter members Divina Mohanani and BJ Lynch joined fellow classmates selling soft drinks, hotdogs, home-baked goods and sandwiches prepared by the students. Others served as ball boys and girls for the finals matches.

Both Lynch and Mohanani said they were excited to see the growth of the event, which was double the size of last year’s tournament.

“It is so great to be able to help others,” said Lynch. “It all comes back to you in the long run.”

Junior Philanthropist members are committed to identifying specific educational needs in the community and raising funds through community events and projects such as the Youth 4 Youth Tennis Tournament. In the two years since its inception, the group has raised more than $20,000.

An avid supporter of the Junior Philanthropists, first lady Cecile deJongh was on hand in the afternoon to hand out medals to each of the youngest players, much to the delight of players and camera wielding parents alike.

All money raised from the event go directly to the organization’s fund at the Community Foundation of the Virgin Islands and are used to benefit educational programs for youths in need throughout the community. The members participate in deciding how the funds are distributed.

Tournament play continues at the St. Thomas Yacht Club through Sunday.

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