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Top Junior Players Earn Scholarship to National Training Camp

Skyla Alcon
Sage Leaman
Andrew Yip

Honolulu, HI May 13, 2014 - Three local junior competitors earned an exclusive scholarship from the USTA Hawaii Pacific/ Kahiau Tennis Foundation  to the Junior Tennis Champions Center in College Park, Maryland this summer. The Junior Tennis Champions Center (JTCC) is a top level, award winning tennis facility that trains the highest levels of junior tennis in the United States. Players from across the country train there with some of the best coaches in the nation.

This years recipients, Skyla Alcon, Sage Leaman, and Andrew Yip, will spend one week at the facility to improve their game and bring back a higher level of tennis with them to Hawaii. Some of the qualifications for the scholarship require a 3.0 or higher GPA, a National Ranking in the top 250 or a Section Ranking in the top 5, and strong involvment in community service.

"We are excited to give these scholarships to such deserving recipients," said Mimi Kennell, Director of Junior Tennis at the USTA Hawaii Pacific Section. "There is no doubt that this tennis camp with strengthen their games and give Hawaii more of an overall competitive edge nationally."

The camp is led by Vesa Ponkka, who has trained top junior players in the US and Europe for national, NCAA, ITF and professional competition. He was selected as the 2012 USOC National Developmental Coach of the Year, is widely acclaimed as one of the top international junior coaches, and has been the driving force behind the JTCC's coaching program since its founding.

The scholarship, in its third year, has already helped some of Hawaii's top players gain success in tennis.

"Attending the tennis camp gave me more motivation and an extra edge in my game. I was able to bring all of that back home and play at an even higher level," said Kawika Lam, 2013 recipient, who has three High School State Championships under his belt, two in singles and one in doubles.

The scholarship will be available next year for 2015, with aims to send three more scholar athletes to the camp to improve their tennis games.



For more information about applying for this scholarship for the following year, please contact Mimi Kennell, Director of Junior Tennis, at



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