BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – A new nine-member committee has been installed to run the affairs of lawn tennis in St. Kitts and Nevis, with the view of resuscitating the sport to a position that would see it being one of the top disciples on the local Olympic Committee’s itinerary.
Chairman of the Interim Committee, Watkins Chiverton was elected President of the St. Kitts-Nevis Tennis Association and now has a view to implement all his plans to resuscitate the sport locally.
Speaking with SKNVibes Sports yesterday (Oct. 3), Chiverton explained that with election of the new body, it gives the association “legitimacy” to conduct business with all respective agencies locally, regionally and internationally.
“We can now go to our stakeholders, with the top being the government, through the Ministry of Sports. We would begin to engage them with a view to get their support not just in funding but also in other tangible areas in recognizing the sport.
“Secondly, we can approach the National Olympic Committee because this is the key facilitator of the sport in its competitive realm, not just here locally but internationally. It would now be recognized as an Olympic sport again for St. Kitts and Nevis.”
The sport was on a decline for a number of years with the past executive being non-functional.
However, Chiverton and a number of tennis enthusiasts have been working over the past months to resuscitate the sport, with a view of returning it to the “glory days when St. Kitts and Nevis was on top and hosting Davis Cup matches – top team competition for nations.”
The president disclosed that within their plans of enhancing the sport, they have an eye on returning to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and resume their membership.
That membership, according to Chiverton, would open many doors for the development of players, coaches and officials at the local level.
“What that does for our country is that it allows them to draw on the ITF resources for the development of tennis across the Federation. So, it would mean the ability to get training for the coaches, the ability to get someone to come down here…the ability to get sponsorship and funding for travel to participate in international tournaments and so on. So it is those types of activities that we are looking at.”
They are currently formalizing a plan to submit to the government on the way forward for the sport locally.
The executive body of the St. Kitts and Nevis Tennis Association is made up of Lesley Broadbelt, Connie Marsham, Marolin Williams. Mario Wigley, Ricardo Williams, Errol Rawlins, Watkins Chiverton, Oral Elliott and Andrew Abraham.