LONGTIME sports and tennis patron Jean Henri Lhuillier has expressed his intention to run for the presidency of the Philippine Tennis Association (Philta) which will hold its elections on February 8 as agreed upon by the board of directors in a meeting last December.
Philta has notified the Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) about the upcoming polls.
“Having supported Philippine tennis for more than two decades in my private capacity, I have a strong desire now to lead it to even greater heights. If given the chance to lead the association, I will continue to implement the good programs of past administrations and at the same introduce new programs that will make tennis in the Philippines more inclusive and getting all stakeholders more involved,” said Lhuillier, also a chief backer of softball.
“My vision is to increase the number of members of Philta just like how it’s being done in the US and in European countries where memberships reach hundreds of thousands,” he added.
Lhuillier also said that he is willing and is in fact excited to work hand in hand with all stakeholders who are willing to help.
“I welcome all possible help from any stakeholder. I would love to work with people such as Bobby Castro (of Palawan Pawnshop) who has the same vision of strengthening the grassroots program as well as the professional players. I believe that with the support of different stakeholders, we can achieve something special for Philippine tennis in the upcoming years,” said Lhuillier.
Castro is the president/CEO of Palawan Pawnshop, which, together with Lhuillier’s own Cebuana Lhuillier, has been sponsoring and organizing more than 80 percent of the age-group tennis tournaments in the country for the past years.
Lhuillier has been the team manager and sponsor of the Philippine Davis Cup team for more than 10 years already and supports the international campaigns of the country’s top players such as Treat Huey, Ruben Gonzales, Francis Casey Alcantara and Katharina Lehnert.
Lhuillier has also been very active in sponsoring top local tournaments such as the annual PCA Open and was instrumental in bringing in international tournaments the past few years such as the ATP Challenger and the ITF and ATF Men’s Futures.
His company Cebuana Lhuillier has also been running a successful age group tennis circuit for more than 10 years and has helped produce top national and collegiate players in the country.