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Push to expand tennis in The Bahamas

Guardian Sports Reporter

Published: May 10, 2013

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The Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) has set in place a five-year development plan designed to promote the sport in the Family Islands, as well as to create more opportunities for local players in the capital.

The first step on the long list of items needed to start the development process began yesterday when John Geode toured the national facility, and a brief training session was held with a number of junior tennis players.

Geode, the development officer for the Caribbean in the International Tennis Federation (ITF), along with BLTA president Derron Donaldson, Bradley Bain and Ricardo Demeritte, met with the Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture Dr. Daniel Johnson, the Minister of Education, Science and Technology Jerome Fitzgerald and members of the Bahamas Olympic Committee (BOC).

“Now that I am development officer, which is kind of a new function, it will give me more opportunities to work together with the association and all the stakeholders in tennis in The Bahamas,” Geode said.

“I expect to see a lot more talent.  There is a lot of talent here.  We all agreed that there is a need for more structure in The Bahamas, going to more schools, having more competition and training more coaches.  The more they can do that and have more persons involved in guiding more players, have more activities for adults, The Bahamas will remain as one of the leading tennis nations in the Caribbean.”

Bain, first vice president in the local association, will leave for Exuma this weekend to introduce the Play and Stay program.  As of now, the program is being staged in New Providence, Eleuthera and Grand Bahama.  Abaco and Andros are the next two stops on the list for the BLTA.

Geode and a number of the executive members will travel to Freeport tomorrow to scout talent on that island.

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