With the hosting of the first ever Road Tennis International Workshop, Barbados is now poised to take its indigenous sport to the rest of the world.
That was the view of Minister of Sports Stephen Lashley, as he addressed participants from six Caribbean territories this morning at the Wildey Gymnasium during the opening of the inaugural clinic.
Speaking to coaches from St Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Antigua, Cuba and Jamaica at the launch of the three-day workshop, Lashley revealed it was the first such event to be held in the region.
It is being held under the theme Road Tennis: Taking as Bajan Game Global.
“I want the Bajan aspect to be seen as a Caribbean aspect. Yes it was born and conceptualized in Barbados, but I think we have to be proud that this game is a game, which has been created and nurtured in the Caribbean.
“We are at the point where we are poised to take our Caribbean game to the rest of the world, and that is a fantastic bit of history,” the Minister insisted.
He explained the workshop, which will be used to teach the basics about road tennis, had come at an ideal time as the island was planning on hosting a World Road Tennis Championships in September 2016.
As part of plans to increase the sport’s popularity throughout the region, Lashley revealed that between February and March 2016, the National Sports Council intended to send teams to those countries represented at the workshop.
Lashley, who has played a leading role in helping to increase the sport’s popularity in recent times, contended that great strides had been made during the past five years.
“Over the past five years we have made tremendous strides in developing road tennis. In fact, we have seen a virtual explosion of the sport throughout Barbados and this is all in part of our strategic vision.
“It has certainly been my vision for road tennis to reinsure that the excitement of playing road tennis is felt right across the length and breadth of Barbados and that we will have tournaments all during the year and I think we are seeing that now,” he said.
Lashley also said he had high hopes of someday seeing road tennis become an Olympic sport.