Tennis Jamaica Board sets goals for growth
THE path that tennis in Jamaica will take over the next three years was defined by the new executive of Tennis Jamaica at a two-day retreat that was held at the Couples Sans Souci hotel in Ocho Rios recently.
President John Bailey set the stage by pointing out to fellow directors that the goal of the organisation was to put in place a dynamic tennis environment that would enable all Jamaicans who wanted to do so, to experience and enjoy the game to the full extent of their athletic abilities and interests.
He accepted the fact that there were a lot of challenges facing the organisation and charged directors to be proactive and to dedicate themselves to the growth of the sport. The emphasis he pointed out had to be on the young players, and the early focus would be on the 10 and under age group, as that was the group that by 2020, would be the nucleus from which the top players of the future will be drawn.
Under the guidance of project manager/consultant Deighton Levy, who assisted the group on the first day, members examined the strengths and weaknesses of the organisation and decided how best to harness and utilise its resources so as to gain the maximum benefits.
After detailed discussions, directors were then assigned specific portfolio responsibilities for various programmes. As part of the emphasis that will be placed on the very young players, it was agreed that the schools programme will be given special attention.
Harnessing talent for participating in the Davis Cup event for men and the Federation Cup for Women and developing a strong financial base for the organisation will be other important goals. The need for capable officials was examined, and proper arrangements are to be put in place in the near future for them to receive more specialised training.
The need for more tennis courts islandwide was seen as necessary, and there is to be long-term planning to ensure that there is improvement in this regard. The burning question of a permanent headquarters for Tennis Jamaica it was agreed is of paramount importance and the president himself will be spearheading negotiations in this regard.