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SVG’s tennis facility’s the best, thanks to Taiwan

SVG’s tennis facility’s the best, thanks to Taiwan

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If one is asked to name which Caribbean island can boast of having the best national tennis facility, St. Vincent will more than likely make it into most people’s top three. With larger, wealthier territories like Trinidad and Tobago and Barbados, you would feel that such a distinction would be theirs. But you would be wrong because St. Vincent and the Grenadines has that distinction. {{more}}

Built in 2000 the National Tennis Centre in Villa is the engine room for the continued development of the sport of tennis in St. Vincent and the Grenadines and anyone involved in the sport will tell you that the sport once regarded as played only by the rich is quickly becoming a sport for the masses. and the National Tennis Centre has a great deal to do with this.

As the game began to expand in the 1990s, it became obvious that the few tennis courts that existed could not suffice for this quickly developing sport and a home was needed. Tom Chou, the Republic of China on Taiwan’s Charge d’ Affairs in St. Vincent and the Grenadines between 1998- 2001, himself being a tennis fanatic, was approached by tennis association officials to construct a facility and was very receptive to the idea.

So when the prime flat lands, in Villa in the vicinity of the Community College, were made available by the Government, the dream was made a reality for the lovers of tennis. The EC $1.1 million Taiwan funded project was undertaken. The original projection included four tennis courts and the clubhouse. Later two courts, changing room and first aid room, were added at a cost of EC $.5 million.

“This centre has been key to the game of tennis opening up for all,” stated local tennis official Peter Nanton as he spoke to SEARCHLIGHT recently. Children with disabilities, local primary schools and the Liberty Lodge Training School for Boys have all been benefiting from the facilities at the centre.

Former National Sports Council Manager Alfred Bynoe, also added to these sentiments, “Tennis is no longer for the rich. It has become a sport for all and more and more youths are playing the game. Bynoe also had high praise for the centre and the Taiwanese Government: “They did a tremendous job and that centre is key to the success of the sport of tennis.”

Promising world-ranked juniors – Corey Huggins and Kirk Da Silva have all benefited from the National Tennis Centre, along with others like national No.1 ranked Female Tennis Player, Lerissa Morris – the slightlybuilt college freshman who is now on a Tennis Scholarship at Norfolk State University in the United States.

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