Tennis officials  compliment SVGTA on 2013 ITF Juniors
September 3, 2013

Tennis officials compliment SVGTA on 2013 ITF Juniors

The Seventh ITF Junior Tennis Tournament hosted by the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association (SVGTA), and the fifth by the current executive, ended on August 24 at the National Tennis Centre in Villa.{{more}}

According to SVGTA President Anthony Mckenzie, “We are quite pleased with [the outcome, given] the obstacles that we had to deal with this year, including air travel and cost of hotel stays.”

These obstacles included many players being forced to withdraw because of cancelled flights by LIAT, rain interruptions, and insufficient sponsorship.

Nevertheless, compliments have been paid to the Anthony Mckenzie-led administration of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association for their management of the 2013 National Lotteries Authority-sponsored ITF Junior Tennis Tournament.

COTEC supervisor Colleen DeGannes and tournament referee Anthony Jameson complimented the SVGTA executive for its handling of the logistics of the tournament, saying that there were fewer issues to be handled on a daily basis.

Mckenzie pointed out that although the overheads of the tournament were much higher than in previous years, “thankfully we were able to off-set some of those with the sponsorship from our platinum sponsor, the National Lotteries Authority of St Vincent and the Grenadines, so overall we are pleased.”

It costs the SVGTA about EC$5,000 to EC$10,000 to finance a local tournament, but for an international tournament like the ITF Juniors, it would cost between EC$45,000 and EC$60,000.

Accommodation, food, transportation and fees for the officials account for over half of the tournament budget. Although he is pleased with the private sector support for this year’s tournament, Mckenzie says that he would like to see greater support for the tournament.

“We do understand that St Vincent and the Grenadines is a small country with a finite number of sponsors, and that there are quite a number of sports always vying for sponsorship,” Mckenzie stated. “There are special interests groups always vying for sponsorship, so it is a very competitive situation where sponsorship is involved.”

However, he is confident that when corporate St Vincent and the Grenadines sees the product that is provided, they will get involved. Players come from countries from as far away as the Far East, Russia, Canada, England, Germany, the USA, Central and South America, and the Caribbean for the tournament.

In this regard, the SVGTA president says: “we are hoping that they will see it is worthwhile advertising their products and services, and just getting their brand out there.”

The website gets about 2,000 to 3,000 hits within a four-day span, especially during the tournament, and this is one medium from which tournament sponsors can benefit, McKenzie said.

Another way sponsors can get their brand out there is by tournament T-shirts. This year many of the players opted to receive their prizes wearing the 30th Coca-Cola ITF Junior Tennis Tournament shirts, giving exposure to the Saint Lucia tournament, which was held the week before.

“Not only are you promoting yourself, but you are also investing in Vincentian kids who would have to pay lots of money to go to a neighbouring island to play in one of these tournaments if that tournament is offered,” the SVGTA said.

This, he added, would enable the players to get regional and international ranking points, opening doorways to many opportunities, including scholarships. (Robertson S. Henry/