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Mc Kenzie holding on

Mc Kenzie holding on

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President of the St. Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association Anthony Mc Kenzie is holding the post, as renewed efforts are being made to pilot the organization through a rough patch.{{more}}

Mc Kenzie, who was asked just over two years ago to head the association, made the decision to remain as head last Wednesday evening, at the National Tennis Center at Villa, when the association made another attempt to hold its Annual General Meeting, which should have seen the election of a new Executive.

Again, the lack of a quorum forced another postponement, as only eight persons, of the eleven needed to form a quorum, were present at 6:48 p.m., 18 minutes after the scheduled commencement.

Those present knocked heads in a discussion chaired by Mc Kenzie, on finding a way out of the stagnation of the association.

One area of concern among those present was the rekindling of interest in the sport and getting persons to serve on the Executive.

Mc Kenzie observed that many of the persons who have served over the years have become “road weary”.

In explaining the cause of the current members being tired, Mc Kenzie said, “A lot of their kids have gone on and are playing collegiate tennis, so there is not that interest with the current Executive, staying on board.”

Mc Kenzie, however, told SEARCHLIGHT that tennis is not a dying sport.

“ If you look at the number of participants at X- Cel Academy, Bonan Tennis School, Grassroot, the numbers are up, the sport is still as popular, but we will like the National Tennis Center to be more utilized, so we are asking those schools to utilize the Tennis Center”, Mc Kenzie said.

“Here at the National Tennis Center is where we have our ranked tournaments, where we have our international tournaments. Basically, in moving forward, we are looking for greater involvement from the coaches, the academies and from parents,” Mc Kenzie added.

The issue of lack of co-operation was discussed at length at last Wednesday’s meeting, as it was felt that the academies have taken hold of the young tennis players, thus causing a divide.

Also coming out of the discussions was the increasing cost of the upkeep of the National Tennis Center. Mc Kenzie lamented that the facility is in need of repairs, having been around for the past 10 years.

The tennis boss revealed that his association has been making overtures to the National Sports Council, with a view to that statutory body having a greater input in the Center, if not taking it over altogether.

Looking at the positive side of the association, Mc Kenzie stated: “ I think at this stage, the association has improved itself financially; we have established ranking systems; our debt in 2008 was $178 000, it is now under $78 000.”

Mc Kenzie also disclosed that, despite the many uphill challenges, once he is at the helm, he will endeavour to see St. Vincent and the Grenadines hold on to the International Tennis Federation(ITF) Junior Championship, which is considered the association’s marquee event, which attracts over 140 persons from all over the world.

The championship, which is normally hosted in August, is seen as a boost for sports tourism, as it has a trickle-down effect engaging the hoteliers and local business operators in food and beverage, among others, over a one-week period.