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Twelve police officers fit to teach tennis

Twelve police officers fit to teach tennis

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There is an air of expectancy among persons in the local tennis fraternity, as 12 police officers are now equipped with the skills to go out into the communities and impart their knowledge to those with the interest.{{more}}

That is the mandate of the officers who were part of a Grassroot Tennis Club training of trainers programme.

Spread over an eight-month period, the 12 officers, who are all part of the Police Youth Club set-up within the Royal St Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force, were given the fundamentals of tennis, with the main facilitators being the Grassroot Tennis Club’s head coach Trevor Sam and the club’s president Grant Connell.

Speaking at the closing ceremony last Tuesday at the Grassroot Tennis Club’s headquarters at Murray’s Road, Connell traced the conceptualization of the initiative.

“Getting the police officers involved in sports is a great idea … Police cover the length and breadth of St Vincent and the Grenadines and their youth clubs are in excess of 1,000 members,” Connell explained.

“The whole idea is to change the whole belief and relationship between the public and the police…. We want to replace the knives and guns with rackets and balls,” Connell quipped.

With the officers ready and raring to go, Connell said that his organization was able to access some of the equipment from the Mustique Tennis Club through Richard Schaffer.

“We will provide the equipment … We will equip four courts with nets, balls, paint the lines and mid-court and sufficient rackets,” he added.

The storage of the equipment would be at the police stations nearest to the courts earmarked for the programme.

Also on hand at last Tuesday’s closing was the Commissioner of Police Michael Charles, who lauded the Grassroot Tennis Club’s vision.

“What is interesting in this programme, after all is said and done, it is the beginning of tennis in St Vincent and the Grenadines … Tennis can take you places,” the top cop stated.

Charles indicated that although the immediate target audience are the members of the various Police Youth Clubs, others can join, as they seek to forge a better relationship with the communities which they protect and serve.

He said he too was one of the persons who could show up for lessons in tennis at any of the four courts.

And, emerging from the training, two of the officers were identified for awards, which were presented last Tuesday.

Taking the Most Promising Player award was Loraine John, who earned herself 16 cans of balls and Mark Billy, the Most Outstanding Player, got a Head racket.

Acting President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association (SVGTA) James Bascombe and president of the National Olympic Committee of St Vincent and the Grenadines Trevor Bailey gave brief remarks at the closing ceremony.(RT)

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