Mitchelle Lake is the Founder and a President of the Anguilla Tennis Academy (ATA). His undying devotion to his country speaks for itself and is etched in the hearts of the many children who have passed through the ATA’s programs. Mr. Lake has worked diligently over the years to harness each player’s athletic prowess and shape their character as well to be responsible citizens of their community. His dream of bringing professional tennis to the island of Anguilla began while attending Gardner-Webb University in North Carolina, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics. Realizing that he had been afforded an opportunity to receive an education free of charge through tennis, he established the Anguilla Tennis Academy organization to pay it forward and provide similar opportunities for other young children.
With a burning passion and dream to give back to the community, the overwhelming support he received was encouraging and he quickly realized that the facilities were inadequate on the island. Therefore, Mr. Lake set his goals high, and with much help from his country and members of the international community, he raised over US$2 Million to construct a state-of-the-art tennis facility located in Blowing Point. Mr. Lake believes that “the cause is greater than the cost” and plans to keep the program as a non-profit organization with all proceeds being donated to benefit children enrolled in the various ATA programs.
Every summer in the month of July, Mr. Lake gives back to his country by dedicating three (3) weeks to provide a summer tennis camp for children on the island who demonstrate an interest in tennis. Since the ATA’s inception in 1996, over 5,000 children have benefitted from its programs. In July 2020, the ATA celebrated twenty-five (25) years of shaping lives and building a future for children through the sport of tennis. In his 25 years of dedicated service, Mr. Lake prides himself in having facilitated thirteen (13) ATA graduates with tennis athletic scholarships to prestigious Division II colleges in the USA, which in itself is a notable achievement. The estimated value of scholarships awarded to date has exceeded US$1.2 Million, with an average four-year scholarship amounting to US$100,000.00.
Mr. Lake is truly an exceptional individual whose relentless devotion to his country is making a significant positive impact for many of Anguilla’s youth. He has been quoted as saying, “My life is what it is today because of tennis and all I want to do now is give back so that other young people can have similar experiences like mine.” Mr. Lake believes the benefits derived from the ATA will continue to shape the lives of thousands of youths over several generations. He described his journey over the past 25 years best when he stated, “One man’s dream has become a shared vision”.