Sun | Dec 10, 2017

Llockett McGregor raising the bar for tennis in Jamaica

Published:Monday | October 23, 2017 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
In this 2009 file photo, Llockett McGregor (left), tournament director of the Sterling Asset Management Junior Tennis Series, greets Charles Ross (centre), managing director of Sterling Asset Management, and David Weir (right), manager of investment and client services at Sterling Asset Management.
Llockett McGregor
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To maintain a competitive edge among tennis players in Jamaica, veteran tennis coach Llockett McGregor has for almost 30 years been involved in the development of the sport, motivating young players to excel both on and off the court.

McGregor ,a United States Professional Tennis Registry Certified Professional, sees tennis as a desirable recreational activity because of its individualistic nature and its long-term appeal.

According to McGregor, tennis opens many opportunities for junior players to improve their level of discipline as well as their ongoing learning experience.

"Tennis provides a vehicle for scholarships to schools abroad, opportunities, exposure for further development in the sport and transition from year to year. Therefore, it is always important to have more players becoming involved across the age groups," McGregor said.

McGregor has worked with both juniors and seniors in various capacities as director of Tennis Jamaica, tournament organiser and programme coordinator of the Liguanea Club Tennis Programme, where he is currently the resident tennis coach, a position he has held for over 20 years.

Over the years, McGregor has also represented Jamaica as manager and coach for both the national junior and senior tennis teams at the Junior Brandon, ITF Eastern Caribbean Circuit Division, Davis Cup and Fed Cup.

 

SHARPENING PLAYER SKILLS

 

He also coached the 2008 Davis Cup team, where Jamaica moved from Group three to Group two. McGregor has also used his influence, experience and skills over the years to develop programmes to sharpen players' skills as national representatives.

"Considering the universal acceptance of the sport of tennis, the game presents unique opportunities for individuals to participate in the sport the social development and enthusiasm of the game is priceless," McGregor said.

With several accolades under his belt, McGregor is a graduate of The Van Der Meer Tennis University. His experience is transferable, specifically in the areas of techniques, fitness and match play.

Since 2008, McGregor has also held the position of tennis coach for the University of Technology (UTech) Tennis Programme, which placed first in the 2010, 2012 and 2013 Intercollegiate games. He has brought an unparalleled level of passion to the game and can assure that the same is channelled throughout the programme.

Over the years McGregor has also spearheaded the Llockett McGregor Tennis Series. These tournaments have been used to motivate players who are interested in participating in the sport.

"We strongly believe that tournaments such as these provide another angle to test skills, engender unity and nurture the abundance of talent across the country, for growth and development to meet international standards," McGregor said.

 

FORGING LASTNG ALLIANCES

 

With the help of corporate Jamaica, McGregor has also helped to forge long -lasting alliances and friendships while maintaining keen competition among the players.

McGregor believes that existing coaches work better together in supporting each other's strengths and would like to see more senior players assisting with the junior programme.

"We would like to see more of the senior players assisting with the mentoring of young players not only from the standpoint of playing the game but also mentoring in the discipline of the game and life skills," McGregor said.

Some of the tournaments in the Llockett McGregor Tennis Series have included the Liguanea Club Open Junior Tennis Championship, General Accident Open Tennis Championship, UTech Open Tennis Championship, Hi-Lyte Open Junior Tennis Championship, Gore Homes Blue Mountain Caribbean Junior Tennis Championship, Guardian Life Open Junior Tennis Championship, Swept Away Hard Court Open Tennis Championship, Mayberry Open Junior Tennis Championship, Gas Pro Open Junior Tennis Championships, Junior & Mentor Tennis Classic and the JN Open Tennis Championship.

"We view these tournaments as our way of giving back to the community. We recognise the importance of sports and the positive impact it has on the youth, and we look forward to these exceptional tournaments where these young tennis players display their skills on court," McGregor said.

During 2011 to 2012 season, McGregor was also able to revive the Brandon and Phillips Junior Tennis Tournament, which was known for building lasting memories, friendships and camaraderie among junior tennis players within English speaking Caribbean countries.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com