Ads by Google Ads by Google

Top local tennis players competing in 2024 Australian Junior Teams Championships

Hermann Thomsen, Aifili Tamasoaali’i and Joelei Ioane.

Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Three of American Samoa’s top junior tennis players are competing in the 2024 Annual Australian Junior Teams Championships which served off yesterday in Gold Coast, Australia.

They are Hermann Thomsen, Aifili Tamasoaali’i and Joelei Ioane.

Hermann Thomsen, a member of the American Samoa Under 12 national team will be competing in the 11 and Under (11/u) category, while Aifili Tamasoaali’i will compete in the 15 and Under (15/u) category and Joelei Ioane, who competes for the second time in this annual tourney, will be competing in the 13 and Under (13/u). Both are members of the American Samoa Under 14 category.

The three local players have joined more than 160 junior tennis players from every state and territory of Australia, as well as the Pacific Oceania region and New Zealand, and will be competing in three age groups — 11/u, 13/u and 15/u.

The Pacific Oceania team is made up of junior tennis players selected from various Pacific island countries and territories. They will be competing in three-member teams.

Joelei Ioane is accompanied by her parents Joseph and Leuila Ioane and arrived in the Land Down Under on June 16th in time to participate in a three-day pre-tournament training camp for Pacific Oceania players, running as a part of a partnership with the Australian Government’s PacificAus Sports program to support Pacific Women and Girls in Tennis.

The boys arrived on June 19th in time for the tournament which started the next day (yesterday).

Hermann Thomsen’s father Baron is also present to support his son and teammate, Aifili Tamasoaali’i. According to Joseph Ioane, the players have also received more moral support from relatives who reside in Melbourne and Brisbane.

Team Pacific Oceania will be under the guidance of four coaches selected from Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Vanuatu.

The coaches and players will benefit from a nine-day mentoring program where they will gain invaluable experience to take back home. 

Tennis Australia Director of Government, Social Impact and Stakeholder Relations Vicki Reid told Australian media that it was wonderful to be able to provide the players and coaches with a tailored mentoring program.

“This year for the first time, we will also facilitate an encounter of the Pacific women coaches together with Pacific scholars from the Australia Awards program in a unique workshop at KDV Sport where the tournament is held,” Reid stated.

The annual tournament is a platform for young players to display their skills in junior tennis, all while competing to take home the win.

As for the three American Samoa junior players Joelei Ioane, Aifili Tamasoaali’i and Hermann Thomsen, the Australian Teams Championships are an important opportunity for them early on in their careers, to gain match experience and build respect, trust and collaboration. 

“These national events not only foster a competitive spirit but also significantly enhance camaraderie and support amongst players and teammates,” said Tournament Director Francis Soyer. 

“Many of our pro tennis players today gained experience at this very event including the likes of Australia’s top men, Alex de Minaur and Jordan Thompson who are currently preparing for Wimbledon, as well as former world No.1 Ash Barty. This really highlights the importance of tournaments like these in developing the next generation of tennis champions.”

The 2024 Annual Australian Teams Championships 21-30 June will no doubt be good preparation for the three local junior players participating, as they will be joining six other junior players next month to compete in the Pacific Oceania Junior Championships to be held in Lautoka, Fiji on July 4th.

The other six junior players gearing up for the tournament in Fiji include Tydeus Asalele, Jedi Leasau, Joella Ioane, Aitulagi Godinet, Pale Leasau and Alexandria Amor.