Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Road Tennis Association (PRTA) Dale Clarke has a vision not only to develop the sport locally but market it globally and make it into an industry.
Clarke told Barbados TODAY he was satisfied with how the sport has grown over the years because not only has it taken off locally, but it is now being played internationally.
“Looking at when we came into existence to where we are now I think the sport has grown tremendously. The progress has been rapid and satisfying because not only in Barbados has the level risen but the support has expanded beyond our shores. People in the Philippines play road tennis, there are countries in Europe, Central America where people are playing.
“I would say it has been a success though of late due to how the economy has turned with sponsorship and stuff that it has started to stall. So we just have to be creative and try to form new alliances and get new sponsors on board and keep reaching for the stars,” he said.
According to Clarke, the PRTA always tries to attract international sponsorship so they could get the sport going outside of Barbados.
“My dream is that the same way Cuba exports their doctors and their coaches around the world that we could create an opportunity where people make a living from road tennis. For example, you could be playing road tennis let’s see in Australia where you’re getting paid a significant sum. So we are trying to create not just sport but we’re trying to build an industry where people could benefit.
“The aim is to start by sending coaches and officials (to countries) and the flip side of that is we encourage persons in those countries to visit Barbados to see the origin of where road tennis started and participate in tournaments in Barbados. So, it is not only that we would be creating jobs for people but we will also be giving a significant boost to sports tourism. If you look at how COVID-19 is now, you have to really get innovative with the Barbadian economy because it is a tourism economy,” Clarke said.