Seventeen-year-old Jade Wilkinson, one of Cayman’s top female junior tennis players, enrolled at the IMG Academy in Florida early January. The popular sports academy specializes in training young athletes in various sports, and Wilkinson says the new scenery has revitalized her desire to pursue a career in tennis as far as she can.
“Now that I’m here in this atmosphere where champions are created, and many college players are made, it just means a lot that I can atmosphere as them and improve the same way as they did.”
Wilkinson, who is a Dart scholarship recipient, will spend the remaining months of the 2018 term at the Bradenton campus. Wilkinson adds playing with more athletes like herself on a daily basis has matured her game.
“Practicing with other girls my level, helps me to gain more match experience, and be more prepared for college.”
Wilkinson is hoping she can return to the school for her senior year, but her future beyond this year is undetermined.
“I would graduate knowing I’ve improved in tennis mentally and physically. I’d be more prepared for collegiate tennis. Just being able to say I was a graduate of IMG Academy would be amazing.”
Regardless of how long she will spend at IMG, Wilkinson says the time she has spent at the campus has been memorable.
“It just builds hope and keeps you motivated to keep training and work for your goals.”