VICTORIAN country junior tennis pathways look set to receive a boost from today’s inaugural Ballarat Regional Junior Tennis Championship.
The category white tournament will see 160 top Victorian and Australian juniors take to the Ballarat Regional Tennis Centre in search of national ranking points.
BRTC has been working with Ballarat Regional Tourism to implement a high class junior equivalent of the successful AMT Gold-Pro senior tournament held last December.
The tournament runs from April 16-19, with qualifying rounds played from today to Friday and finals to commencing on Saturday.
BRTC manager Rob Benoit said the focus of the event was to prime Ballarat’s young talent for serious competition.
“It’s about encouraging locals and country kids to enter,” Benoit said.
“We’ve still got some good interstate, Melbourne and country players but it really encourages your tournament players with not a lot of tournament experience to play in this level.”
The category white tournament will attract plenty of top-end talent, but also leaves the door ajar for some of the Ballarat athletes to shine through.
“You might only get a sprinkling of the top kids but they can get their national ranking points at a slightly lower category than the higher-classed tournaments,” Benoit said.
“This concept is a little bit different to the gold one where you’ve got to be pretty hot to be in that.”
Around 30-40 Ballarat players are expected to compete, with several interstate products also vying for the titles.