In 2001, one of the Guillaume Foundation’s first focus was how to use sports – namely soccer – to put the Plaisance du Sud community on the map. After some misadventures in the National Second Division, we gave up on the idea and went back to the board. From 2003 to 2006, we concentrated on the Doktè Lik Championship while still waiting for a better solution. That solution was given to us by Lindia Izidore, who made a tennis racket out of a piece of wood. She then started hitting balls all by herself. Without Knowing it ,she had just started our “Athlètes en Herbe” (Young Athlètes) program.
Two years later, in 2008, we had a junior tennis academy with 80 members, who had readily taken over the junior circuit in Haiti, keeping all the trophies, from first to third place in the U-10, U-12, U-14 and U-16 category. We kept at it for two years, winning titles, representing Haiti in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, the United States, Salvador,Honduras etc … until the January 12th earthquake when the major tennis courts in Port-au-Prince became camp cities and effectively stopped all competitions. After the earthquake, the France Tennis Association allowed two of our tennis players to come rain in France for six months. Unfortunately, when they came back to Haiti for vacation, they weren’t able to go back to France and train again due to financial issues.
In December 2011, Fondation Guillaume raised money which allowed Lindia, Pierre, Cliff, and Jean-Citho to come Florida and participate in the Orange Bowl Tennis Tournament; one of the biggest Junior competitions in the world.
Since then, our four best players have been living in Florida (USA) where they go to school, train, compete and have already found both sponsors and trainers for their professional career.
However, our Young Athletes program is much more than our tennis academy. Our runners have competed for and brought back the gold in the National Athletism Championship. We have also gone back to our first love and started a junior football academy in 2013.