Stephan Lhuillier passes baton to Sebastian
MANY times I have interviewed Stephan Lhuillier, the eldest son of sportsman-businessman Jean Henri Lhuillier. In the most recent one, he was joined by younger brother Sebastian when we met at the Makati Sports Club.
Stephan wanted to update me with the latest on his pet project, the Pinoy Tennis Trainers (PTT) program, which then was wrapping its two-day free tennis workshop for around 40 tennis trainers at the venue.
He was with Sebastian because by next year, Stephan will be pursuing further studies in the United States and is passing the PTT baton to his younger sibling, also a tennis player and sports lover like him.
Tennis clinics are common but Stephan’s program is different. He had this idea when he had a chance to talk to a ball boy in the province where Stephan was playing in an age group tournament three years ago.
He learned then that the ball boy earns only P80 per hour, in some cases even lower and is dependent on how often he will be utilized as a ball boy.
This is what I like about this young man, he thought of helping ball boys and trainers upgrade their skills through a series of seminars. With a higher level of skills, they get paid more, or even move up from being a ball boy to a trainer, from trainer to assistant coach, and from assistant coach to coach, which in fact over the past three years has already transpired for some of the 600 graduates that PTT has produced since 2016.
PTT did this by conducting a nationwide series of tennis clinics that reached all the way to the Visayas and Luzon and in tennis clubs in NCR. Unfortunately this year, due to his studies, PTT was able to schedule only this clinic at the Makati Sports Club.
And as far as Sebastian is concerned, this is what he wants to replicate in 2019 at the same time he wants to develop further the Level 2 module PTT used recently as designed by national tennis coach Roland Kraut, the country’s only ITF Level 3 coach.
To think this young man is only 15 years old, Stephan is 18, that makes his thinking more impressive, but then knowing these guys’ pedigree in sports, it really does not come as a surprise that they love sports. Their father JHL is a known sports lover and athlete himself having played tennis, softball, basketball and golf, while the mother, Bea Lucero, is an Olympian and SEA Games gold medal winner in two different sports.
Late last year, I had the opportunity to sit down with Bea in Alabang and I learned from her that as far as she and JHL are concerned, it was non negotiable for the kids’ involvement in sports, any kind of sport whether it be recreational or competitive.
In the case of Stephan and Sebastian, they both chose to be competitive and both are members of the school tennis team at the International School of Manila. And both dream too of playing for flag and country at the Davis Cup, where their father has served many times sa PH Davis Cup team manager.
Sebastian also plans to send anew for Level 2 ITF training the PTT’s top graduates next year, something they had done in 2017 when they sent Trudy Amoranto and JR Moreno to Thailand.
I salute Stephan and Sebastian.
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