May 15, 2015
‘Arnos Vale is an alternative’ – Connell

A small facelift of the Arnos Vale hard courts can save the International Tennis Federation (ITF) tournament from leaving our shores.{{more}}

That is the view of Grant Connell, director of the Grassroot Tennis Club.

“We must resurrect the Arnos Vale courts…It’s a matter of painting the fence and four nets… The President’s Suite is right there; it can host the umpires and the other officials,” Connell noted.

Connell said that he has mentioned the Arnos Vale choice to the Minister of Sport Cecil Mc Kie and President of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association James Bascombe.

“I am certain we will get great assistance from the tennis fraternity, especially all those that have benefitted tremendously from the game via scholarships etc…They would assist to see others grow as they have……We can’t miss the train on this one,” Connell added.

Following his recent visit to Antigua and Barbuda at the Caribbean Junior Championships, Connell said it is clear that all the other islands are stepping up their game and improving their facilities to lure tournaments to their shores.

Connell said he was invited by president of Antigua and Barbuda Tennis Association to see their new tennis home with four courts, which should be completed within the next two months and they have already booked it to host next year’ s Junior Caribbean championships.

“Antigua is now in the perfect position to host an ITF tournament like ours, since the ITF has now required that the host island provide four courts for the Under-18 and three courts for the Under-14 category, along with one practice court, so ideally eight courts,” Connell a former president of the St Vincent and the Grenadines Tennis Association commented.

“They have the courts, they have the hotels, and the international airport where players have no hassle to get direct international flights to the island….Ours is around the corner, but until such time when we can boast of such,” he added.

Advancing his case, Connell said: “We can build two more courts at Villa, which we have the space to do, then we will be able to host both categories at the centre…We must do something in the interim to make sure the Under-14 category remains and is played……It will be unfortunate that we have the girls and boys champions on our shores and they can’t enjoy home court advantage.”

Connell concluded that his GTC is fully behind the efforts to ensure that the ITF tournament remains in St Vincent and the Grenadines.(RT)