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High airfares stump Grassroot Tennis Club Junior Tennis Tournament

High airfares stump Grassroot Tennis Club Junior Tennis Tournament

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The 2013 Milo Grassroot Tennis Club (GTC) Junior Tennis Tournament was set to have its first overseas contingent participate, but was stumped by the high cost of travel.{{more}}

Apart from the 55 local entrants, the tournament was poised to have six players from neighbouring St Lucia compete.

Head of the GTC Grant Connell revealed this at the brief opening ceremony last week Monday morning at the Haddon Hotels courts on Murray’s Road.

Connell further explained to SEARCHLIGHT the impact of the non-participation of the St Lucia team.

“… We were really looking forward to have our players here get some regional competition… It is sad that LIAT and its high airfares continue to affect negatively sports in the region,” Connell said.

“…It is highly incongruous that persons from St Vincent and the Grenadines, one of the shareholders of LIAT, must be asked to pay the same airfare as others, when it is our taxpayers’ money which is keeping LIAT in the sky,” Connell advanced.

“Why can’t they allow the fast ferry service to operate between here and St Lucia, so we can have more competition in all sports between the two islands?” he questioned.

Connell holds the view that something must be done soon, otherwise no one will be able to afford travel.

Connell said that they are seriously considering to have the travel services of one of Sunsail’s yachts to do future engagements involving St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines with regards to tennis.

“I am sure that our good friend at Sunsail, Mr Simon Carey, will welcome such an idea,” Connell added.

Connell revealed that four members of the GTC are set to travel to St Lucia this weekend for a tournament, however, they too are being stalled by the prohibitive air fares.

“We are keeping hope alive on this side that our young players can get to St Lucia to show off their wares… . We are doing some fund-raising on our own, such as barbecues here at the club house this weekend … Thanks to some corporate persons here we are seeing some light, but more is needed to ensure their travel,” the GTC head confirmed.

The Milo-sponsored tournament ends here this afternoon with the presentation and closing ceremony. (RT)

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