St. John’s Antigua- Antigua & Barbuda Tennis Association (ABTA) has so far secured a total of US $70,000 towards the refurbishing of the presently unusable Vikings Tennis Courts located at Camp Site.
This is according to ABTA President Cordell Williams Sr who revealed during an interview that one high-end resort has made a significant contribution to the project while the sport’s world governing body has also provided funding to the local body.
“In negotiation with Mill Reef Club I have guaranteed US $50,000 that will go towards the project. From ITF, International Tennis Federation, we are getting a grant of US $20,000 and we just have to prioritise where and how we are going to spend that money,” Williams said.
“My first option is to fence the property to secure it and put down the courts; so I should be able to complete the courts and the fencing and we will have to take it stage by stage in terms of raising funds for the lights and the bathroom facility.
“I have looked at the bathroom part of it and my first option right now, I have already sourced them, is to get two 40-foot containers and turn that into the bathroom and office space.”
Williams, who is also one of the country’s top tennis coaches, explained the importance of ensuring the sport has a home, saying it increases the association’s ability to host more tournaments.
“For us to really get tennis where I want it to go, we must have a home. In the juniors we have rankings from one to 20. However, we don’t have any rankings in the seniors. So what we go off of is our senior players who are still actively playing. Our number one senior player would be between Carlton Bedminister, Kevin Gardner or Carl Johnson,” he said.
“Kevin, you know, still plays in tournaments. Carlton is still playing, and Jerry Williams may still be considered one of our top players but because he is not an active tournament player, he really does not have any ranking.
“When the home is finished, we will be able to do our senior tournaments and we will have a better ranking of our seniors,” Williams added.
ABTF currently hosts tournaments, workshops and training programmes at Halcyon by Rex Resort.