Merchandising Technician at Berger Paints Rodney Wilkinson getting one of the first ‘knocks’ ahead of the start of the competition.

Some of the schools on parade during yesterday’s opening ceremony for the inaugural A1 Supermarkets Berger Paints Rubis National Secondary Schools' Road Tennis Championship.

Schools’ Road Tennis Tourney makes jump to secondary level

Over the next two weeks students from 22 secondary schools will be looking to claim glory as the inaugural winners of the A1 Supermarkets/ Berger Paints/Rubis/ National Secondary Schools’ Road Tennis Championship.

The competition, which made the transition from the primary schools through the collaboration of the Barbados Association of Principals of Public Secondary Schools (BAPPSS), the National Sports Council and Ricardo Marshall, falls under the umbrella of the rebranded National School Awards programme, of which Marshall is the President.

With the tournament officially launched yesterday during a ceremony at Springer Memorial, members of the National School Awards programme, BAPPSS and representatives of sponsor agencies were all on-hand as participating schools paraded ahead
of the first matches which are slated for this coming Monday. With games set to be played between the National Sports Council’s headquarters and Rubis Sports Club in Brighton, the competition is divided into Under-15 and Under-19 classes with the older players getting first bite at the cherry in round robin team matches before knockout individual matches and playoffs.

The following week will see the Under-15s getting their chance to shine in the identical format.

During his address, Hilda Skeene Principal, Ivan Clarke, said he was pleased with the advancements made with the sport, but said that it was only just seeing the light of day as he expects the competition to breed a new brand of Road Tennis.

Noting that there was a national zeal to have the sport exported across the world, Clarke urged the powers-that-be to rethink the strategy and own the sport first.

“I know that there are some persons who are ready to take the sport overseas. Trust me, if you want Chinese food, you won’t stop at Chefette. You go to a Chinese restaurant.

“My point is, you develop the sport here at home, you be the best for the next ten generations, then you start exporting the sport when no one can beat you. We are being beaten by everyone. A bunch of schoolboys beat us the other day in cricket and once, we used to own cricket.

“I’m saying to those persons in the other organisation as well, let us own Road Tennis for a little while. Let’s own it, let’s cement it here, let’s use all our resources here at home and then we can go overseas.” he said. (MP)

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