Several successful tournaments and other developments have made 2010 a satisfactory year for the Guyana Lawn Tennis Association (GLTA), the organisation’s President, Christopher Ram says.

“I think we had a reasonable year. We had a number of pluses, we got several things done, we think each year must account for itself and if you look at some of the things we did, the year went well. One of our big things that we achieved was being able to mobilize sufficient resources to send a squad of six youngsters to the World Junior Tennis Knockout Championships in Trinidad and Tobago,” Ram said.

Christopher Ram

“Another plus we have is that we now have two level two ITF (International Tennis Federation) coaches, that is Ezra Sue-Ho and Shelly Daly-Ramdyhan”, he added.

Ram noted that the Association has also been able to spread the sport further within the country, starting its mini-tennis programme in schools in Corriverton, Berbice. A tournament was held last month and the Association has begun negotiations with persons in Linden to have the sport taken there.

Further, Ram said, the association has mobilized some overseas-based Guyanese in the US and Canada, and, among them, Guyanese Dr Arthur Hazelwood has made known his commitment to paying the Association’s annual subscription fee to the International Tennis Federation (ITF). Ram said that the Association is very grateful for this gesture, as like most sports fraternities in Guyana, they are cash-strapped.

In other achievements, Ram pointed out that the GLTA has amended its constitution and started to establish a coaches association that is expected to be headed by Duane Lopes.

Six schools

Moreover, following dialogue with the Ministry of Education, the GLTA was instructed to identify six schools where tennis facilities can be established. One school has already been identified and the Schools Tennis Coordinator, Ramdyhan was charged with identifying the other five. Ram noted that compliments of Nasir and Nasir and Bakewell, President’s College will soon be furnished with a tennis court.

Further, Ram said, the rehabilitation of the tennis courts at the National Park is expected to begin next year but reconstruction will take a few years. He noted that once completed, the facility will enable the hosting of international tournaments in Guyana.  “If there is one major defining activity it will be the rehabilitation and extension of the tennis courts at the National Park. Drawings and quantity analysis is already being done, and we’re looking at a start in about June/July [next year]. It would not be completed next year though, it’s going to be phased in over two, maybe three years,” Ram stated.

To fund this, he said, a sponsor has already been identified. However, he pointed out that more than one sponsor may be required to help complete the project.

He was disappointed that no new court was established this year and other goals not achieved would have to roll over into the plans for next year.

The Association was scheduled to conduct a level one coaching course, and this along with an administrators’ course and an officials’ course were not carried out. And while the programme in schools has been encouraging the younger generation, Ram said there is inadequate personnel. “It is unfortunate that the tennis fraternity is still small. So it is a small group of people that have to carry out a disproportionate amount of work for the Association,” Ram said.

The Association is also not satisfied at being unable to achieve a vibrant relationship with the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sport. “One of our disappointments is that we have not been able, despite substantial efforts by the GLTA, to have a constructive relationship for the benefit of the sport. But I must say at the end of the year the MCYS appears to have made some indirect approaches to one of our members for us to meet and with the view to see how the Ministry can work with the GLTA in promoting the sport,” Ram said.

Overall, he said, the Association is happy with the achievements this year.

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