This year Jaensch Immigration Law Firm sponsored the Eddie Herr International Junior Championship held at IMG Sports Academy in Bradenton. We recently wrapped up our involvement with the tournament and wanted to report on our experience and share some photos.
Work started on Monday, November 19 when we put up our banners and tent in preparation for the tournament.
We had Thanksgiving off but the hard-working folks at IMG were on campus, registering players and preparing the brackets.
Friday was the first day of the tournament and we showed up bright and early to set up our tent. We wanted it to look like the inside of a comfortable office so we brought chairs, stools and coffee tables. We placed snacks and drinks on the coffee table, free for players and coaches to take. We had a laptop and a photo displayer showing this slideshow.
After getting set up we settled in to a routine. Players, parents and coaches would walk by, pick up drinks or a snack, and share stories about their immigration experiences. Often, the same people kept coming back day after day. We really got to know a few of them very well. We also got to meet some of our fellow sponsors like Smoothie King and Aline. IMG hooked us up with free meals every day from Nick and Bennies. Their tomato salad was incredible!
Juniors as young as 12, and up to 18, played in the tournament. There was a lot of athletic talent on display. We were able to walk between the courts, which were only a few hundred yards away, and see for ourselves. It was good to see some of the players we had met through their visits to our tent play in matches on the courts.
The first few days were devoted to singles play. Around Tuesday the tournament switched to doubles play.
Quite a few well-known tennis celebrities were present. Maria Sharapova, an IMG alumnus, visited on Monday. John Isner played an exhibition match with Xavier Malisse on Tuesday. Tuesday was also the player party but by that point we had left the campus.
It was on Tuesday that our managing attorney, Chris Jaensch set aside some time to come to IMG to give a short talk on sports immigration and answer questions. After the talk people were lining up to speak to him in the tent. Most of the people at the tournament were, in fact, foreign.
Overall we were very pleased with our experience at IMG. Everything from the banners to the tent decorations worked out great and getting in and out was easy. We were well taken care of with free meals, electricity and even a TV! We learned some lessons for next time and we look forward to a similar opportunity next year.