Steps are being made to continually raise the standards of road tennis in Barbados.
Minister of Culture, Sports and Youth, Stephen Lashley, gave this reassurance as he responded to a recent newspaper article based on comments from President of the Professional Road Tennis Association, Dale Clarke.
In the article, Mr. Clarke severely criticised the Ministry of Sports??? recently-held Road Tennis Workshop, referring to some elements of the workshop as ???embarrassing???.
Acknowledging that there were different viewpoints when looking at road tennis, Mr. Lashley stated the reviews from the regional participants of the workshop expressed very different sentiments.
According to the Minister, participants ???applauded the efforts and thanked the Barbados Government and the Governing Body for exposing them to the workshop???. He said that other participants praised the workshop, describing it as ???very organised and professional???.
Mr. Lashley stated that he had a conversation with Mr. Clarke subsequent to the printing of the article, and the president disclosed that it was not his intention to create alarm or criticise Government???s efforts, as he was mainly concerned with standards.
Agreeing that his Ministry was also interested in high standards, Mr. Lashley noted that steps were being made to continually raise standards in the game.
???There are several tournaments that bear out that we are going along the right path. Barbados should be proud that we have such an indigenous game??? We need to reinvigorate the World Road Tennis Federation which was formed in Barbados,??? he urged, adding that it was his goal to pull together all of the relevant parties to examine the areas of improvement for road tennis. Such a discussion, he maintained, must happen in a ???level headed and focused manner???.
The Sports Minister cautioned that the game should be used as a way of unifying persons who are involved in road tennis, and added that he was of the view that the development of road tennis should not be ???reduced??? to what was stated in the article.
He stressed that ???structured and purposeful dialogue??? was very important, as road tennis was currently evolving, and he encouraged all parties ???to come to the table and build our sports???.