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GTC to begin National Tennis Centre upgrade

GTC to begin National Tennis Centre upgrade


The Grassroot Tennis Club (GTC) is taking the lead in the upgrading and refurbishing of the National Tennis Centre at Villa.{{more}}

Head honcho of GTC Grant Connell revealed this intention at the closing ceremony of the club’s third annual summer camp last Friday.

“The standard of the National Tennis Centre facility has dropped significantly and unless it is repaired we can risk losing the ITF (International Tennis Federation) tournament, since the courts would not be of a standard that they will accept … So, the Grassroot Tennis Club has decided not to wait on the [National] Sports Council no more … We have to try and fix those courts,” Connell said.

Connell said that the GTC would repair one of the six courts at the National Tennis Centre, at a cost of about $40,000.

In mapping out the pathway to obtaining the funding for the other five courts, Connell said “There are, I am sure, five other institutions who are willing to follow the Grassroot Tennis Club.”

In further explaining the drive of the GTC in making the refurbishment possible, Connell told SEARCHLIGHT that the GTC would raise funds in mid-September to kick off the campaign.

Connell said the refurbishing should begin in February.

He said his special interest in the project mainly stems from the fact that it was under his presidency of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association (SVGTA) in 2006, that representation was made to have the ITF tournament come to these shores.

He said, that as a matter of protocol, he has written to President of the SVGTA Anthony Mc Kenzie, who has approved the GTC initiative.

The National Tennis Centre was built with funds from Taiwan and formally opened in 2000, when it had four courts.

Two courts were added to facilitate the staging of the Americas Zone Group 4 Davis Cup.

Six courts are a prerequisite of the ITF for holding such competitions.

In 2007, this country got its first ITF Junior tournament.

The 2012 edition is set for the National Tennis Centre at Villa from August 13 to 18. (RT)