Photo: Susan Mullane2013 Roehampton Player Educational Forum
LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM: The 11th ITF Roehampton Junior Educational Forum took place at Roehampton University last night, and was an overwhelming success as over 140 players, coaches and parents attended to hear informative talks by experts in their field.
Luca Santilli, the ITF’s Head of Juniors and Seniors Tennis, opened the forum with an introduction to the work of the ITF, ATP and WTA. He was followed by Carly O’Hara, a member of the ITF’s Anti-Doping department, who gave the players vital information on the importance of respecting the rules concerning banned substances.
O’Hara was followed by ITF Welfare Officer, Kathy Martin, who gave a presentation entitled “Top Teams”, giving the players information on what to bear in mind when selecting their player support team members, and the importance of these decisions. Gonzalo Corrales of AGM Sports then spoke to the players on tennis scholarships at American universities, talking the players though the advantages of playing of playing tennis at American universities and the requirements to achieve that goal. Nigel Willerton and Dee Bain of the Tennis Integrity Unit followed Corrales with an insightful talk on betting in tennis. They surprised the players by revealing just how much money is bet on tennis and warned them of the dangers posed by people looking to influence matches. Daniel Lowen, sports lawyers Couchmans LLP, spoke about the role of an agent in a player’s career. He advised the players on how an agent could benefit them and gave them some tips on what to look for when entering into a contract with an agent. He also spoke briefly about the new initiative between the ITF and Couchmans LLP which involves the latter providing legal advice to top junior players.
Carly O’Hara then spoke again, this time going into more detail on the risks involved in consuming particular substances, including those found in dietary supplements. Guy McCrea of the BBC and Eurosport then closed the Forum with a talk on the media and tennis, giving tips to the players on interviewing and how best to deal with the media.
Feedback received from attendees after the Forum confirmed that it was a very positive, educational experience for everyone involved.