After a long hiatus from competitive sports during 2020, The Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association along with other stakeholders were able to begin hosting competitive tournaments throughout the country. Notwithstanding the volatility of the government Covid-19 regulations the majority of planned tournaments were successfully held. Kudos to IC Bahamas who Kicked off 2021 by hosting the first tournament of the year as well as the Grand Bahama Tennis Association, Abaco Tennis Association and Eleuthera Tennis Association for the impact their tournaments had during 2021.
We are proud to announce the BLTA has successfully been registered as a non-profit organization and work towards the incorporation of the Association began after the 2021 AGM. We have also signed on with the ITF World Tennis Number (WTN) which is a global rating for all tennis players.
Congratulations to the most recent inductee to the Bahamas Hall of Fame Mr. Hartie Johnson whose dedication to the development of tennis within the Bahamas (Eleuthera) has helped him to achieve one of the highest honours bestowed in relation to sports in our Country. He has impacted countless lives and continues to work teaching tennis. Congratulations once again Mr. Johnson for your stellar representation of our sport.
2021 has been a prosperous year for Bahamian Tennis as the country has had a spotlight shone on it because of our diversity and the performance of our athletes and programs. The Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association has been featured during several events hosted by the ITF. The Bahamas was one of 14 nations that presented at the ITF 2nd Annual Global JTI workshop (November 2021) and was featured at the ITF’s return to tennis conference earlier in 2021.
The past two years we have endured so much hardship and hurt as we remember all those who have passed on before us. Our hearts were just recently saddened by the passing of our dear past president Mr. J. Barrie Farrington. His legacy will live on in our memories. In an effort to pay respect to those who have impacted the sport of tennis the BLTA Board has agreed to honour J. Barrie Farrington and Dougald Small by naming the 2022 Senior Nationals and Junior Nationals after them. Every year we will select and honour individuals who have had a positive impact on Tennis in The Bahamas.
A special thank you to all the organizations that assisted the association by sponsoring tournaments, programs, or team travel. The Street Trader Limited, Caribbean Landscape, Limeade Bahamas, RBC Royal Bank Bahamas Limited, Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture and the Bahamas Olympic Committee. Thank you to the support staff at ITF and COTECC for their assistance and guidance throughout the year.
The BLTA extends thanks and well wishes to all the players that represented the Bahamas on National Teams. Our Billie Jean King Cup team (Kerrie Cartwright, Sydney Clarke, Elana Mackey and Sierra Donaldson) who had an amazing tournament finishing 3rd overall in their competition. The Davis Cup team (Justin Roberts, Kevin Major Jr, Baker Newman, and Marvin Rolle) who made it to the promotional playoffs indicates that we have the talent to compete at a very high level. A very special thank you to Simone Pratt for her support and Spencer Newman for his sacrifice and readiness to aid the team.
The year was capped off by a phenomenal performance by our U12 girls’ team who finished 2nd overall in their preliminary team competition qualifying for the U12 Team Competition event. The Team of Briana Houlgrave, Tatyana Madu and Kaylah fox led by team captain Marion Bain did a stellar job though finishing 6th place at the finals showed that they were a force to be reckoned with.
We thank the athletes, parents, coaches, tennis community for your support and prayers for the teams as they travelled during a period with so much uncertainty. As 2022 nears let us continue to prepare ourselves to walk through the door of opportunity. In 2022 our focus will continue to be growth through development. I wish you all a happy and prosperous new year!
“Forward, Upward, Onward Together!”
Perry E Newton
Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association