Parental Referrals

Grant Dalton

It's always great for us to hear positive feedback from parents after we've helped place their child so this letter that we received from Kiwi sailing legend Grant Dalton was much appreciated. Grant is known worldwide and throughout the sailing world for his exploits over two decades in round-the-world yacht racing.  Grant has been the managing director of Emirates Team New Zealand since 2003 and his son Mack recently signed with Queens University in Charlotte, North Carolina on a tennis scholarship.

Helen Norrie

Helen's son Cameron signed a tennis scholarship with Texas Christian University in the fall of 2014. Cameron had been ranked as high as No. 10 in the ITF Junior World Rankings and as high as No. 636 in the ATP rankings, making him one of the highest-ranked players to sign a National Letter of Intent in the 2014 recruiting class. We recieved the following referral from Cameron's parents:

PlayAtlantic’s and in particular Charlie Bartlett’s knowledge of the scholarship process has been invaluable, from what is required in terms of education right through to choosing the right college and coach. Charlie seems to have visited many of the colleges in the US, so when Cameron was trying to choose a college this insight was excellent. Charlie has good relationships with many of the coaches so was able to reach out and talk to many of them quickly and directly. PlayAtlantic would be a great place to start to assess the pros and cons of the various colleges and coaches when considering a tennis or any other sports scholarship. 

We would be happy to talk to anyone who has any questions about you, the process or anything else to do with scholarships.

Thanks for all your help and all the very best.


Kevin and Pauline Drew

Kevin and Pauline's daughter Kelly signed a full tennis scholarship with the University of Louisiana on a full tennis scholarship in Novermber 2015. Kelly has played tennis for most of her life and having moved through the junior club ranks she is now a nationally and internationally ranked junior player. We recieved this letter of recommendation from Kelly's parents:

As a parent of a student who wanted to go to University in USA, we believed that we could do the process ourselves, and not need a firm like Play Atlantic to help us on the way.

We were sceptical of Play Atlantic, thinking that only people that were too lazy to do it themselves would use their resources.   You can do it yourself, but there are many fish hooks along the way, and much red tape.

However when we met Charlie  and listened to him explain the process and how involved it was, we were impressed by his positive attitude, dedication,  and found his hard work and enthusiasm to get the job done.

As somebody who has been through the American College System, Charlie knows how it works.   He was available to give us sound advice.

Charlie, we cannot thank you enough for your help and genuine interest  and guidance in getting our daughter to college in USA.

Well done!

Kelly Drew Signing_0.jpg



Philippa and Ranko Vulinovich

Hi there,

We are Niko Vulinovich’s parents, and together we have decided for Niko to attend Hofstra University in New York. It has been a long journey from when Niko decided in September last year that he wanted to try for an American sports scholarship (when we enlisted Charlie from Play Atlantic to help) to his signing with Hofstra. We are still completing the paper work!

If you want to go to an American college it helps to prepare and plan early. Obviously working hard at your sport is essential, but just as important is finishing school with as good grades as possible and graduating with your year group. A decent SAT result also helps. You can sit these many times and  only use your best results so do a test run early to see if you need to study further and resit. A 50 percent academic scholarship is easier to achieve than money for your chosen sport at most colleges (unless you are exceptionally talented!).

Charlie put Niko in contact with a lot of tennis coaches from different parts of America. We quickly learnt to research the academic ranking, which sports division, and how good the tennis team was at each university. A map of America was pored over for months. Because there are so many colleges in USA (over 5000) which vary hugely in size, location, academic and sporting focus and ranking, it’s good to set some firm criteria. You can then work on developing a rapport (or reaching out to as the Americans love to say) with the coaches of colleges that are the best fit .For example we wanted a good nationally ranked academic college with a decent Division 1 or 2 tennis team which was solid but not one that was so strong Niko wouldn’t make the team. Charlie worked hard to find suitable matches’. In the end we narrowed it down to 3 possible colleges which were keen to take Niko and fitted our criteria. Niko made the final choice after asking friends already based in America for their advice, and having had a lot of contact with the Hofstra coach.

Charlie was great at recommending the better options as he has been through the system personally He also worked hard to get Niko additional tennis funding. We wish you well with your college search and hope this blog helps you in some way with your preparation and decision making.