By Neto Baptiste
President of the Antigua and Barbuda Tennis Association (ABTA), Cordell Williams, believes that the sport could return to competition at a national level, revealing the association may propose to the relevant health and sports ministries, the hosting of a competition to be held in October.
“Locally, yes we can and what I am presently doing down at Halcyon [tennis courts] within my programme, is having them playing matches amongst the group that I work with. To put on a national tournament, we would have to seek guidance from the Ministry of Health because that would be more numbers and you’d have to have more kids, so that is something we would have to follow up with the Ministry of Health to find out if we would be allowed to do that. After this month, we would probably try to put on a tournament just about October,” he said.
Williams made the disclosure while speaking on the Good Morning Jojo Sports Show where he reminded that the sport, just like many others, has been open for training and social activities for quite some time now.
“We are back in full swing but with a limited number of kids at any particular time, and what we have in place is a pipe at the entrance so they would wash their hands as they arrive to the tennis court. We also have a tank that we put closer to the court so that whenever they come off court they wash and sanitize their hands, and while they are on court, if they happen to touch the balls, we will send them to wash their hands because we have a pipe right at the entrance of the court,” the tennis boss said.
The former player said however, that the body has been forced to cancel this year’s under-14 and under-18 competitions due to the ongoing pandemic.
“We have closed off our season so we wouldn’t be doing any international competitions until next year. this month [August] was for us to do the Wadadli Bowl in terms of the under-14 and under-18 but that has been cancelled because of [Covid-19] and traveling … not only for us but basically most of the countries in our region in terms of COTECC and the ITF.
“So pretty much competition wise internationally nothing is going to happen until next year hopefully, once things improve around the world,” Williams said.
The government is yet to allow associations to host competitions although the easing of restrictions have allowed for some aspect of training and social activities to take place. It is unclear as to when competitions would be allowed to commence.
By Neto Baptiste