Collective effort needed to move Lawn Tennis forward, says new President

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Newly-elected President of the Guyana Lawn Tennis Association (GLTA), Cristy Campbell, wants all interested persons to put past grievances behind them and work in unison to push the sport to new heights.

Campbell was elected to the top post on April 16, replacing Samuel Barakat as President of the Association. Campbell defeated Annabelle Sharma 11-3 on the votes.

“I know that the campaign period was very competitive and a few tempers would have flared, but I want to assure everyone that I hold no ill will or grudge to anyone, and I hope we can work cohesively to develop tennis, which is our sport,” the new president stated after winning the top position.

“A nine-member executive has been elected and the work to be done to take Tennis to higher levels goes beyond the reach of those nine Executives. We would need all of the players and coaches, parents, stakeholders and everyone to come on board, so I am open to dialogue with anyone who has something meaningful to add to tennis.”

Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Charles Ramson Jr., had recently stated that Tennis is a core sport.

It means tennis qualifies for special attention and funding from his ministry, to help advance the game in Guyana.

“With tennis being categorised as a core sport, it makes the shoe a lot bigger for us to fill. It means we have a lot more work to do and I hope that we can decentralise tennis because I don’t want people to feel tennis is only for Georgetown and the in far-flung regions they have never hear about tennis.”

While expressing a need to return to competitive action locally, the five-time female champion said they have to be conscious of the prevailing pandemic before they can make any definitive plans on tournaments.

“We are awaiting the guidelines as stipulated by the Task Force and our medical experts so until we have that greenlight, we cannot really pre-empt what will happen for tennis.”

“As long as facilities are open and it is safe to play, we are looking at the Inter Guiana Games which were scheduled for last year, then the GBTI Open which is our premier slam. Hopefully, the pandemic eases a bit and we can hold both of them or one, at least by July.”

Meanwhile, Nigel Niles got 11 votes to Patrick Mentore’s three to be named First Vice-President, and Surendra Khayyam was elected Second Vice-President unopposed.

Both Patricia Moore and Delon Fraser got seven votes, but Moore withdrew, which made Fraser the new Secretary. Ramesh Seebarran was elected Treasurer as he got 10 votes to Janiece Scrub’s four.

The elected Committee Members are Jamal Goodluck, Kimberly Conway, Renace Jordan and Marlyn Henry.

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