Happy New Year to all,
2021 is a year of promise. As we look back at our success and struggles of 2020, we are committed to further growing the sport of tennis throughout the Bahamas. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic tennis activity was virtually halted as competitive sporting events across the country was prohibited. This culture-changing disease affected all aspects of
society where we saw the closure of our borders, a novel experience. It forced us to enact strict protocols to ensure that the National Tennis Centre could operate which provided tennis players access to train and play in a safe environment.
As a result of the pandemic and limitations placed on hosting local and international tennis tournaments, The Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) focused on building up the foundation of its four pillars: officiating, coaching, junior and senior development in order to ensure Tennis Sustainability. The BLTA signed an agreement with UTR that would grant access to their platform. This agreement provides junior and senior players with more local avenues to improve their ratings and opportunities via BLTA UTR tournaments. Mrs Tara Mactaggart was instrumental in spearheading this UTR effort. The BLTA also hosted its first officiating training course and welcomed participants from Abaco, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama and Nassau. It is expected that this new pool of officials will provide a stronger and broader base of officiating at local and ITF tournaments. To strengthen the last pillar of coaching the BLTA held a virtual coaches training session on CPR and First Aid. In the latter part of December after successfully liaising with the government on the safety of the sport and the protocols to be implemented at our tournaments, the association was officially granted permission to host tournaments. We are excited to get these tournaments going in 2021 under the strict safety protocols.
In order for the association to further grow it is necessary for us to incorporate as a non-profit organization. Incorporation documents are required by banks for corporate accounts and by sponsors to make donations. Failure to make this change will make it impossible for the association to conduct business. The Incorporation Committee worked on the association’s incorporation process with the assistance of Mr Dwayne Gibson and Mr Mickey Williams. A copy of the Articles of Incorporation will be sent via email to all BLTA members prior to the next AGM where we will vote on passing this vital step in the association’s development.
To further aid the association as it seeks to ensure Tennis Sustainability the board approved an increase in membership fees for 2021 as follows:
Adult Membership $35.00 ($10.00 increase)
Child Membership $15.00 ($5.00 increase)
Family Membership $50.00 (unchanged)
The BLTA will continue to create opportunities for training in coaching and officiating for all who are interested. As more persons avail themselves of these opportunities provided by the association, we encourage individuals to in turn donate their talent, time, and resources to build the sport of tennis. We each have a part to play.
Over the last year, we have lost some of our dedicated members and loved ones. Our continued condolences and prayers are extended to the Johnson family, Kerr family, Burrows family, Evans family, the Reed family, the Issacs family, the McDonald family, Hartie Johnson and family, the Strachan family, McPhee family, Christen family, Saunders family, and the entire tennis community.
Special Thanks to the Bahamas Olympic Committee for their support of our training initiatives, we are greatly appreciative. Thank you to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and Mr John Goede, ITF Development Officer for his tireless support and guidance. Thanks to my board members who continue to serve and work for the upliftment of tennis and to the volunteers in the tennis community who are committed to service and excellence. Despite all that transpired in 2020, we should remain encouraged, excited and hopeful as we enter 2021.
My prayer for you this new year is that you be blessed with health, strength, and continued success!
Perry E Newton
Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association
Original Post Date 5/1/2021