Winkie Pratney has spent the better part of his life traveling millions of miles around the globe to address teenagers and inspire them to live their lives as leaders in the Christian way. Recently, the New Zealand native and his wife and son visited IMG Academy to take in some tennis during a week-stay on the Gulf Coast of Florida.
Pratney spent time working with IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis coach Red Ayme on his stroke, while his son Will watched from the sidelines. Will, who shares his father's passion for inspiring youth, travels year-round as his father's personal assistant. As a child, Will spent time within the world-renowned Bollettieri tennis program at IMG Academy beforeplaying competitively in high school and helping his team reach the Texas state championships, where they claimed the doubles title.
Said Will of his time at IMG Academy: "It's amazing to come back here and see how much progress has been made. When I was here, this place was all about tennis. I remember watching [Andre> Agassi train. He was lifting weights back then, which was unheard of for tennis players. But this place is just different like that." Continued Will, laughing: "I remember being in tennis camp at the age of ten and they would have us run 19 laps every day. Let's just say I took some long water breaks."
These days Will keeps up with his dad's active lifestyle and busy travel schedule. The two are both very health-conscious and are always looking for ways to help better people's lives through positive thoughts and an emphasis on healthy lifestyle choices.
Remarked Coach Ayme: "It's impossible to begin to measure Winkie's impact on youth around the world. He motivates kids to be leaders and have a positive impact on their surroundings. His mission is perfectly aligned with everything we teach at IMG Academy - inspiring kids to realize their full potential not just as athletes or students, but as people - as influential members oftheir community."