Some joyful news from Deschapelles, Haiti comes from our wonderful tennis program supported in association with the Club Tennis Deschapelles. Youth participation in several programs continues with joyful results. It’s great to see the smiles and the very nice strokes of the players on the recently refurbished court. Our coaching interns Youdanci and Fabrice, who is also the #1 player at CTD, are a very positive influence. Currently, there are a lot of challenges with life in Haiti such as closed schools. Fortunately, the tennis program is providing a fun and safe place.
A wonderful event has happened recently for our Club Tennis Deschapelles (CTD) team. A group of supporters from many parts of the world, many who have long histories with Deschapelles and love tennis, raised enough money to refurbish the deteriorating Deschapelles tennis court. Here are details:
- The court was repaired and resurfaced with a new acrylic coating
- A fence has been installed and surrounds the entire court to provide a bit more security, deter the goats who loved sleeping on the warm surface at night and block random walkers who loved crossing the court as a short cut during tennis practices
During the refurbishment our local coaches, Walter Vertidort and Jude Luma, continued training for all the players with physical fitness in the bordering space as well as adapted practices on a nearby smaller basketball court. The group also learned to play badminton. Martin Grieco, known as Coach Martin, recommended that the CTD team take up badminton during the refurbishment. He made this happen with providing equipment and providing custom CTD team badminton t-shirts. The team got a lot out of this experience including attending an invitational badminton tournament.
All of these recent events and hard work will pay off immensely. The Haitian Tennis Federation anticipates resuming regular competitions after a 2-year hiatus due to COVID and political unrest. Our Club Tennis Deschapelles team will be ready.
Tournament held in Petionville
Now that the COVID-19 pandemic has abated in Haiti, where it never really became the scourge that it is in most countries in the world, the schools, churches, large outdoor meetings are now allowed. The coaches, Walter Vertidort and Jude Luma, organized an in-house tournament for the younger players, mostly short court red and orange balls. A highlight of the tournament included an important aspect of all tournaments our teams attends; a nourishing lunch.
Coaches Walter and Jude took 12 of their top players ages 12 and 14 to an invitational tournament in Port-au-Prince. from October 30 to November 2. Some tournaments are one day tournaments, but others take place over several days. The Deschapelles team boards a van at about 4:30 in the morning for the 3-hour drive to arrive in time for the tournament to begin. The tournaments give the Deschapelles players opportunities to play against new opponents, where their skills are tested beyond what they meet in Deschapelles. At the end of the tournament, be it a one-day or a several-day tournament, the team and coaches leave in the afternoon for the 3-hour trip back. Walter and Jude provide bananas, mangoes and bread for the trip in. Tournaments always provide a classic lunch of rice and beans, sometimes with chicken. On the way home the coaches stop at known vendors to purchase dinners. This tournament was special as it was the first post pandemic tournament. The Deschapelles team was proud to come home with trophies for the winners; in the age 12 girls category, Dubreuille Alexensky Kechly won. In the age 14 category girls, Estimable Christ-Marley won, and category boys, Richard Sterley was the winner. In addition to the competition itself, this gives youth in Deschpelles the opportunity to see a different part of the country, a large city, and to interact with new people. And all involved had the excitement of participating as the Deschapelles team returning with trophies, and serving as good ambassadors from the town of Deschapelles .
Update: October 2016
The Deschapelles tennis team attended the Federation Tennis Haitienne tournament in Port au Prince for boys and girls in the 12 and 14 year old categories on October 15 and 16. Saget Youdancie continued to show the quality of the play of the Deschapelles Tennis Team by winning her group. Kudos to Youdancie and her coaches, Walter Vertidort and Jude Luma, and to the other Deschapelles team competitors.
Update: September 2016
In mid-September, the Deschapelles Tennis Team hosted a Haitian Tennis Federation Tournament for the under-10 players who compete, like other international teams, on a short court. Seven teams participated. The Deschapelles tennis coaches organized the meals, and the Tennis Federation covered the costs of the meals and brought referees and supplies. Hospital Albert Schweitzer provided overnight housing for the visiting players with their coaches who had traveled to Deschapelles from Port au Prince. A real collaboration!
Deschapelles team members Christmaelle Auguste and Schnaider Jean Pierre both received third place prizes and Ykadjouna Youbain won her division.