Tennis Jamaica President John Azar says the staging of the All-Jamaica Senior, Junior, and Amateur Tennis Championships has always played a major role in the development of tennis across the country.
The 2022 edition of the championship begins tomorrow and will run through Sunday, December 18. Games will be played at three venues: the Eric Bell Tennis Centre, the National Commercial Bank Sports Club, and the Liguanea Club.
The events to be contested are Men's and Women's Open; Men's 45 Pro; Men's Amateur Classes 1, 2, and 3; Ladies B; Adult Doubles Event; and Boy's and Girl's 10, 12, 14, 16, and 18 Singles and Doubles.
"This tournament is extremely important," Azar told the Jamaica Observer during the launch of the event held at the Liguanea Club yesterday. "I mean, the fact that it is not only juniors, amateurs, or professionals, but all three are very important. When you have a turnout like this in terms of the amount of sponsors and the amount of players, it's encouraging; it makes you feel like the hard work myself and the Tennis Jamaica team have been putting in is bearing fruit, and we are looking forward to a fantastic competition over the coming weeks.
"The numbers are bigger and better. What we've seen with each Tennis Jamaica event we have been hosting is that it has been getting bigger and better, which again tells us more people are playing tennis, more people are coming out and competing, and it is just a good yardstick by which you can measure your success. Maybe it is not only your yardstick, but participation in an event like this is important."
Althea Pandohie, Unilever business manager at Lasco Distributors Limited, spoke about her company's commitment to sponsoring the All-Jamaica Senior, Junior, and Amateur Tennis Championships.
"We at Lasco Distributors Limited, along with partner Unilever through their Degree brand, are extremely proud to be sponsors and supporters of the All-Jamaica tennis championships," she said. "We are also excited to be the event title sponsor for the Men's Open competition. Degree and Unilever are on a mission to get the world moving, one step, skip, jump, or serve at a time. It doesn't matter where you start, just that you do it and do it with confidence, and this is what our brand Degree brings to the table."
Nicholas Lynch, chief executive officer at Hertz Jamaica and Express Fitness, said it was a no-brainer for his company to join the over 40 sponsors for the All-Jamaica tennis championship.
"The group that I represented, Norbrook Equity Partners, which owns Hertz, Express Fitness, and Mailpac, is very committed to sports in Jamaica," he said. "Our chairman, Mr Khary Robinson, is a football player of some note, and he really believes in supporting sports in Jamaica, and we have supported the All-Jamaica tournament in the past, so when we got the call, it was an easy decision to make, and when you have a business that is focused on health and wellness as Express Fitness is, you have to be in the sporting business."