From left to right – President of the Barbados Road Tennis Association, Patrick Craigwell; Minister of Youth, Sports, and Community Empowerment, Charles Griffith; and new Road Tennis Goodwill Ambassador, Jofra Archer, pose for a photo following Monday’s press conference. (F. Belgrave/BGIS)

Barbadian-born cricketer, Jofra Archer, will promote road tennis as its newest Goodwill Ambassador.

This was announced on Monday by Minister of Youth, Sports, and Community Empowerment, Charles Griffith, during a press conference at the Ministry’s headquarters.

Noting it was a plus for the indigenous sport to have a high profile athlete endorse it, Mr. Griffith stated: “When I was told that Mr. Jofa Archer was available to be one of our ambassadors to promote road tennis, I immediately agreed that it was one of those initiatives that we must embrace here at the Ministry of Sports. We are looking at the possibility to get road tennis into the Olympics at some point in time.”

He also disclosed that his Ministry was looking to promote road tennis internationally and the endorsement was the springboard to accomplish that goal. The Minister also revealed that line technology was being researched to be utilised in the game.

In accepting his new designation, Mr. Archer suggested that road tennis should be in every school as an extra curricula activity.

“I think it should even be mandatory …. because you know everyone’s not going to be good at cricket, football, netball, basketball or whatever. So giving kids the option to play road tennis, because if a guy is extremely good, but there’s nothing going on at his school, and he’s probably not even confident enough to go into a tournament, that’s talent wasted.”

Mr. Archer, who represents England in cricket, will use his profile to promote the sport in England, especially in his community and among his cricket team mates.

Road tennis is a variation of tennis invented in Barbados in the 1930s by local working class Barbadians who could not afford to play lawn tennis.

fabian.belgrave@barbados.gov.bb

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