August 31, 2012
Firms, individuals help tennis club upgrade for int’l meet

The request by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) to have eight courts instead of six was fulfilled in time when the Grassroot Tennis Club (GTC) courts were upgraded, thanks to corporate St Vincent and the Grenadines (SVG) and individuals.{{more}}

This combined effort of unbridled nationalism saw SVG coming through with flying colours, as with very short notice, the courts were upgraded within seven days.

Director of the GTC-Grant Connell singled out Jankie Glass of Karib Cable, whose financial contribution was crucial to the improvement of the infrastructure at the courts.

Connell said Glass, who is the “godmother” of the GTC, is no stranger to the club and makes regular donations of rackets, lends Karib Cable tents, caravan and plants, and, among other efforts, provides food for the children during the summer camp.

Connell disclosed that other members of the private sector made smaller contributions, namely, the SVG Tennis Association, Corea’s Hazells Inc., Gibson’s Hardware, Mariners Hotel, St Clair Robinson, Casper Da Silva and Brian Hadaway of Industrial Marine Services, who was constantly on-site to make sure the time deadlines were met, and his input was without cost to the club.

Additionally, the official water during the tournament — Evian — was provided through their local agents, Gonsalves Liquors.

The contribution from the private sector, Connell said, was able to cover a third of the cost needed for the upgrade the courts.

“To get the courts to where they are now was a combined effort and I would like to thank all those who played a role … the GTC family worked overtime and they must all be commended,” Connell said.

Connell said that when the IFT officials inspected the courts on the night of August 10, hours before the start of the tournament, they were incomplete. But with the help of Senator Julian Francis, who made the floodlights mounted on the Starlight truck available, work went through to the wee hours of the morning.

“It is this camaraderie that we need to make events a success in the interest of the development of sports and a people in general. I am indeed grateful for his (Francis) kind actions,” Connell said.

He said that the GTC has undertaken to further upgrade the courts for next year’s tournament and has adopted one court at the National Tennis Centre, which will be fixed in time for the ITF tournament 2013.

“We must realise the importance of this tournament. It is the biggest sports tourism attraction in St Vincent and the Grenadines, with players from Russia, Canada, Czech Republic, Thailand, to name a few.

“… I have received a positive response from the CEO of Tourism, Glen Beache, so next year’s tournament we are sure will be bigger and better, and GTC will continue to give its full support in the interest of the development of sport and I encourage other institutions to get on board,” Connell stated.

Connell disclosed that the first of the fund-raisers organised by the GTC in its efforts to upgrade the adopted court would take place in September. (RT)