Posted on

Grassroot Tennis Club sent packing

Grassroot Tennis Club sent packing


An order to hand over the premises known to many as the Grassroot Tennis Club (GTC) at Murray’s Road has been complied with.

The cessation of operation of the GTC, which was formerly known as the Haddon Hotel courts, came in light of a decision by the owners of the premises to put it to other uses.{{more}}

The notice of eviction was contained in letter addressed to Grant Connell, the director of the GTC, signed by Casper Da Silva for and on behalf of Star Garage Ltd, which stated: “We are now set, ready and able to commence construction on the 19th September. We ask kindly that you make arrangements to make the property available on or before 1st September, 2016.”

Star Garage is the leading vehicle dealership in SVG and the agent for several popular brands, including Toyota, Kia, Suzuki and Mazda. According to a senior member of the management of Star Garage, the company plans to use the property to construct a showroom for their vehicles.

Connell revealed that the eviction notice, coupled with the slow return of entry forms, caused the cancellation of the Junior Tennis Tournament, which was set to open last Monday.

On Wednesday, the club’s former base was a hive of activity, with the removal of items which adorned the premises. Connell said that the GTC is complying with the eviction notice and would not be obstructive of the action taken by the DaSilvas.

“We should have all our belongings removed from the club by weekend so we would not cause any inconvenience or delay in the DaSilva brothers’ plans to move forward with construction,” the GTC director advised.

“It was, indeed, unfortunate that it could not be worked out another way in the interest of children over vehicles, but such is the case,” Connell reasoned.

“Many persons had expressed their view as to what would eventually happen as the club and facility developed, but such is life….It will be hard to explain to some of the children, but such events build character….I will see what alternative measures can be put in place for the upcoming school term to deal with six pre-schools with over 200 children, along with the School for Children with Special Needs,” Connell related.

Despite some feeling of sadness, Connell stated, “…I thank Casper and Silky DaSilva for giving me the opportunity to transform the facility from the dump it was to that which is seen today…. I spent quite a bit on it, but when you see what has been produced, giving kids an opportunity they did not have…, creating the nexus between talent and opportunity, the returns thus far are priceless,” Connell stated.

Undaunted by the latest happenings, Connell, looking ahead, revealed, “We have several projects that were in the pipeline, including the pets, plants and pre-schools, which cover from Mespo to Mayreau and we will fulfill our obligations to them; we also have a project with prisons; so, you see, it’s only a matter of unplugging the energy from this location.

“We will maintain the car park section and the animal sanctuary and herb garden will soon take root…. One can’t mix up location with legacy; the grassroot is the foundation of any society; it is where the true talent lies and those who have a desire to unearth such talent are not easily sidetracked,” Connell quipped.

Since opening up to the public in February 2010, the GTC has hosted over 30 events, among them the training of police officers, Tennis for Hope, Bin It programme, Stringing Course, as well as the beautification of the surroundings.

Connell thanked the faithful signage holders who have scaffolded the operations of the club over the past six years.

“Thanks, Trevor Sam, the head coach who has anchored the coaching for the years and Deron Grant, before he left for Oman; Onike Spann, Agostini Soleyn, Kyle De Freitas and Khir Huggins, who assisted in summer camps… Ms Anna Merchant and Charles ‘Horseman” Findlay, whose dedication to the club words can’t express,” Connell said with gratitude.

Promising the same energy in the next undertakings, Connell projected, “We will keep the vibe positive and it’s only one way that the grassroot can grow is up.”