February 21, 2014

Connell wants national tennis train to roll

Head honcho of the Grassroot Tennis Club Grant Connell wants the national tennis set-up to become more proactive.{{more}}

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT recently, Connell called on the Miles Boyea led executive to become more innovative and stop waiting on the regional developments officer(s), to call the shots.

“We keep getting empty promises from the ITF …We cannot wait on the ITF…This kind of assistance was promised two years ago and we are still waiting for the tennis train that seemingly has no wheels to start rolling…Word of their representative in the Southern Caribbean seemingly means very little…We have to move forward…There are more tournaments that we must lure to our shores; we have the facility and the environment…Save our juniors having to incur cost of travel. We must therefore make the demands…,” Connell said.

“When the governing body’s representative comes to the island and meets with associations, if he sees puppets, he will play the japeto role and carve them out for the roles he wants them to play and just dangle his strings as the puppeteer, and the sport remains stagnant and the juniors suffer,” Connell said.

Connell, who is a past president of the SVGTA, said that he, over six years ago, negotiated to have the ITF junior tournament come to St Vincent and the Grenadines, and had to ward off negativity.

Connell said then ITF development officer for the region Anthony Jeremiah had scoffed at this country hosting the event.

“If we were to wait on Jeremiah the ITF tournament might not have come here, since, when the request was made to him for us to host, he said not in five years since we were not ready…Luckily for us back then we saw no sense in negotiating with servants when it was the kings that make the decision,” Connell recalled.

Connell said that the GTC is currently restructuring its operations, as the national executive has pencilled in its Junior Tennis tournaments on the same dates as his club has been doing for the past four years.

“We will give way …We have to continue building the game, we will always support, as the game is bigger than all of us…We will not know where the champion lies unless we place a racquet in his or her hand and get them on court… We will do that, court by court, child by child, from the grassroots up,” Connell concluded. (RT)