Belfast City ITF Junior Tournament 2016- Press Release




Ulster Branch Tennis Ireland (UBTI) has just announced details of the Belfast City Junior International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament hosted by Windsor Lawn Tennis Club, Belfast, from 23rd July to 29th July 2016. 


With support from Belfast City Council and many local sponsors including, Gotto Sports, Ballygowan, Noteman McKee Architects, House & Stock, Oakmore, Towergate, Russell Business Centre, Hastings Hotels and Punjana, UBTI are able to host the fourth Belfast City Junior ITF tournament at Windsor Lawn Tennis Club this year.  UBTI expect to welcome players from across Europe and Ireland to lead an impressive programme of world class tennis competition. 


Tennis fans from around the Province are in for a real treat when top Ulster Junior players take to the courts to compete against International opposition in the ITF event.


Ulster Tennis Academy (UTA) and Windsor’s Laura Reid is aiming to exceed her previous best this year and progress beyond the second round of the main draw in the girls event as she takes part in the tournament for the fourth time.   Eighteen year old Laura currently has a Junior ITF ranking of 1,755 and will be joined by sixteen year old Jessica Leeman who played in the qualifying event in 2015. Jessica is a Dublin City University (DCU) Tennis Ireland National Academy, UTA and Hawarden Club player, and endeavours to collect her first Junior ITF points at the event.


UTA Head of Operations, Stuart McQuitty, said, “The Ulster Tennis Academy is all about nurturing junior talent in partnership with their local clubs and coaches.  Several players from the UTA will compete in this international event and this provides an excellent opportunity for them to gauge their progress and see the standards required to compete.”


Matthew O’Boyle is likely to feature in the boy’s event for his fourth and final year. Matthew, ranked 1,569, reached the second round of the main draw in 2015 after working his way through the qualifying stages and was eventually defeated in a close three set encounter with third seed, Adam Jones (GBR).  Aspiring UTA player, Caleb Ralston, from Portadown Tennis Club will seek his first ITF points at the tournament.  The sixteen year old and has recently secured a scholarship at a Lawn Tennis Association (LTA) International High Performance Centre based at the University of Bath.


Laura, Jessica, Matthew and Caleb are likely to be joined in the event by fellow UTA College squad players,   Ronan McKeever, Jakob Robb, Arianna Kennedy and Mary Parkash.


This year the tournament will have a particular focus on female participation in tennis. Everyone is welcome to Windsor Lawn Tennis Club on Wednesday 27thJuly at 6pm to 7.30pm to watch an exhibition match involving four top female UTA players taking on Ulster Rugby’s Operations Director and former Ulster Tennis player, Bryn Cunningham, and current Ulster and Irish rugby star Andrew Trimble. 


Ulster Tennis has again organized a Celebratory event at Belfast City Hall on Wednesday 27th July at 8pm for 200 players, their families and Special Guests, including members of the local tennis community.  It will include a finger buffet and addresses by guest female speakers. This year, throughout the day, guests will also have the opportunity to take part in a half hour guided tour of the opulent surroundings of Belfast City Hall and find out about its history.


Finals Day is on Friday 29th July and members of all Clubs, parents, sponsors and stakeholders are invited to watch the matches and presentations and support players.  


The first ever ‘Tennis on the Lawn’ ITF Junior Tournament and tennis promotional event will take place at Belfast City Hall from 12pm to 2pm on Wednesday 6th July. Groups of young players of all standards, including girls, from the UTA, Windsor LTC, other Belfast Clubs and Belfast Leisure Centres will have the opportunity to showcase tennis to the public.


Tournament Director and Windsor Tennis Club Coach, Simon McFarland said;

‘Having the ITF tournament at Windsor has been a great success over the last 4 years. It has been great to see so many European and International players and their coaches and families enjoying themselves in Belfast. For the Irish players, it is great to have three ITF tournaments in the country again this year and this gives them all fantastic opportunities to gain all important ranking points for their future. We have a great example of that here in our own Club as Windsor player Karola Bejenaru who is still just eighteen years old, and who achieved a career high Junior ITF ranking of 101 last year and has a current senior ITF ranking of 809, won this Belfast event in 2013. We welcome all the new and returning players back to Windsor Tennis Club.’


George Stevenson MBE, UBTI & Tennis Ireland President, said, “I would like to thank members of UBTI and Windsor Lawn Tennis Club for their hard work and commitment in organizing the ITF tournament and for the continuing financial support from all sponsors. We welcome everyone to come and support the players during their matches at Windsor from 23rd to 29th July.”



Lauren Smythe

Development Manager
Ulster Branch Tennis Ireland
This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

T: 0044 (0)28 9038 3808


Simon McFarland
Tournament Director
Windsor Tennis Club
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M: 0044 (0) 78 51282210
T: 0044 (0)28 9066 5188

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The Deputy Lord Mayor of Belfast Mary Ellen Campbell, George Stevenson MBE President of Tennis Ireland and Ulster Branch Tennis Ireland, Des Allen Tennis Ireland CEO, Pat McFerrin Captain of Windsor Lawn Tennis Club and Ronan O'Kane from sponsor House & Stock help to launch the Belfast City ITF Junior Tournament 2016 on Wednesday 15th June 2016.



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