Em-Miryam Campbell-Smith breaks COTECC tennis record

Em-Miryam Campbell-Smith competes. - Angelo Marcelle
Em-Miryam Campbell-Smith competes. - Angelo Marcelle

EM-MIRYAM Campbell-Smith, 13, has been in stellar form, not just locally, but the junior tennis player has been winning titles in the Central American and Caribbean Tennis Confederation (COTECC) and now has the record for the most titles for a TT player in the region.

Campbell-Smith is a multi-sport athlete, but tennis is her favourite.

She has already made waves in her career including being the youngest to win a national senior tournament at 11 when she won the East Club Classified tournament Division B last year.

Campbell-Smith has represented TT overseas regularly including at the Under-14 COTECC World Junior Championships in Dominican Republic and at the Under-16 Billie Jean King tournament in Guatemala.

She is proud of her recent form, saying, “I have been in the top 15 for over a year now (in COTECC) and top four for seven months. I have also been number one in (the) TT Under-14 (category) for almost a year, but I am aiming to become the number in COTECC…I am also the only TT player in the top 15 (for) both boys and girls and only English speaking Caribbean player in the top 15.”

She added, “To hold the TT record for most COTECC championships titles (seven), the most COTECC points for a TT player (630 points) and to be the second highest TT player ever ranked in COTECC (is special).”

Campbell-Smith has had stints with world class junior coaches and is eyeing other sessions in the future.

“Me and my siblings were all born in Florida, USA. It is no secret that Florida is the mecca for tennis development - great weather, top tournaments, players, facilities, technology, coaches, etcetera. Over the years we have trained with top US coaches including the living legend Rick Macci, who developed Serena and Venus Williams. We also trained with Gerald Loglo, who developed Coco (Gauff) and also at HITT Tennis Academy. We all hope to return soon full time so we can really take our games to the next level.”

The junior athlete said her success could not have been achieved without support and guidance in TT. “I would like to thank my coaches at Total Tennis Academy - Jerome Ward, Richard Chung, Scott Hacksaw and Elan Mendes for their guidance.”

She wants to compete in International Tennis Federation (ITF) Under-18 tournaments.

“I plan to win as many ITFs as possible and keep improving my mind, game and physically.”

Campbell-Smith, along with her two sisters and brother, were introduced to many sports by their father Darryl, but for Campbell-Smith tennis has a special place in her heart.

“From as young as four years old my dad formally exposed us to several sports growing up - swimming, cricket, basketball, football, table tennis, chess, hockey, ballet, gymnastics and golf. I loved tennis the most and have played since I was four years old with the late great Carlos Taylor on (the) public courts. I still also play table tennis for Queen’s Park and chess and football for my school St Joseph's Convent (Port of Spain), but tennis is my number one sport. I love it.”

She said her siblings are making noise on the court also.

“Tennis stuck with all of us as our favourite. We are all doing extremely well. My little sisters Rukha and Abba are also number one in Under-10 and Under-12 (respectively) and also national champions. Rukha is a double sport national champion in both table tennis and tennis. We compete all the time to see who will win the most trophies and championships.”

Campbell-Smith and Abba team up in doubles matches and have won the last three tournaments they have played in. Her brother Yeshowah has shown potential in multiple sports including basket-ball.

Campbell-Smith is constantly working on her game focusing on the mental aspect of the game, physical preparation, technical skill and strategies. “Being as completely technically sound as possible. That's a never ending journey. You can always improve on all aspects of your game.

Like many junior tennis players, Campbell-Smith admires a legend who is considered the greatest women’s player of all time and one rising star.

“It was Serena for years before she retired. Now it's Coco. Both are my heroes. They both started very young and show grit on the court like no one else.”


"Em-Miryam Campbell-Smith breaks COTECC tennis record"

More in this section