Upping the ante
Road tennis is about to go where few domestic sports have gone before.
Following an initial announcement last year, president of the Professional Road Tennis Association Dale Clarke told Barbados Today this afternoon that the winner of this year’s Barbados Cooperative Credit Union Limited’s Monarch Of The Court Road Tennis Tournament will be driving away either a Hyundai or Kia Rio Sedan in addition to pocketing a cash prize of $3 000.
The competition starts on September 13 and is slated to run until the grand final on October 3.
“I remember when we announced last year that we were going to bring a car to road tennis this year, patrons were laughing and saying: ‘Oh! They can’t get a car for road tennis; they have to be getting that from Laurie Dash’. So this goes to show how far we have come,” he said, adding that gone were the days when road tennis players would be receiving $500 to $3 000 as the winner’s grand prize.
Clarke added: “People usually associate tennis with the urban communities so we want to decentralize it into the country. A road tennis player back in the eighties or even the late nineties would win five hundred dollars, in some cases two hundred dollars, but now playing for a car would generate the interest even throughout the country where we will have more road tennis players coming to be a part of the sport so we can get it up to a professional standard as quickly as possible,” Clarke told Barbados TODAY.