AFTER moving to Wyong to attend the International Tennis School (ITS) in Kariong just weeks ago, 15-year-old Orange native Ceejay Ah-See is gearing up to compete at the Auckland Junior Open, his first international tournament.
Ah-See moved to the school, founded last year, three weeks ago in an attempt to further his prodigious tennis abilities and will compete in the Auckland Junior Open, from September 27 to October 4.
“It’ll be my first time playing overseas,” Ah-See said.
“I’m lucky to get the chance straight away, it’s pretty exciting. They’ll be tough competitors, and it will be good experience.”
The touring ITS players will also play several individual challenge matches during the trip.
The International Football School was founded last year, with the ITS wing being established not long after, and was designed to create an atmosphere of professionalism in both sports while not sacrificing academia.
The program provides students with pathways to American college tennis scholarships, European club tennis, French money tournaments, International Tennis Federation junior events and Australian ranking tournaments, along with securing them coaching accreditations.
A typical day for Ah-See kicks off at 8.30am, starting with two hours of intense on-court practice before moving into his academic block for the remainder of the day.
“We tend to focus on the things we need to improve on individually,” he said.
“My coach has me working on some minor technical things, mainly in my serve. But we’ve also been working on some mental strength things.”
Ah-See, having finished fourth in his under 15 boys’ division of the central west Medibank Junior Development Series, will compete in the Champion of Champions tournament on September 7 in Bathurst, and said the competition is perfect preparation for the kiwi tour.
“Ceejay is doing well, he’s really hit the ground running,” Greg Brownlow, ITS director of tennis, said.
“He came to us with limited experience for someone of his age, and brought with him a game we haven’t seen for quite a while.
“Ceejay is a dynamic player...he takes the ball early on the rise, and likes to move forward into the court.
“He’ll handle the tournament style play in Auckland."