Lawn Tennis on the rocks in Guyana
-Rudy Grant speaks out By Clyde Pestano
Stabroek News
October 6, 2003

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Rudy Grant of “Mash in Guyana, People Going crazy” fame, is adamant that the game of lawn tennis in Guyana and more especially in Georgetown has fallen flat on its face because of mal-administration and the shirking of responsibility by those mandated to take the sport forward.

The popular singer/lawn tennis player in a telephone interview with Stabroek Sport said that the game was virtually on the `rocks’ also because persons who can make a difference are afraid to speak out for fear of losing `friends’ who may be a part of the problem.

According to the former player this is an approach that needs to be corrected hastily or else the game will continue to be embroiled in controversy and confusion and will continue its downward spiral.

Grant said that many persons in the recent past are aware of the events that have led to the current `stagnation’ in the sport but are hesitant to get involved for many reasons. He also alleged that some persons in lawn

tennis only get involved because of their own personal aggrandizement.

The former tennis player told this newspaper that from the time Gus Lee (former CEO of GPC) was no longer the head of that company tournaments have been hard to come by due to lack of subsequent sponsorship. Grant said it was simply the case that sponsorship dried up, but hastened to add that sponsors may also be reluctant because of the way the organization is being managed.

The DJ took aim at current president of the Guyana Lawn Tennis Association (GLTA), William Skeete and claims that since he (Skeete) took over the presidency, lawn tennis has lost it vitality. According to the entertainer, “I told Skeete (GLTA president) that a president is someone who can pick up the phone and make contact with sponsors and get sponsorship.” He added that he advised Skeete that it would not be good for tennis if he were to become president of the association since he lacked the necessary clout to do the job.

Grant stated that many persons who were and are involved to an extent with lawn tennis know its problems but seem to want to step around them delicately without dealing with them head on.

He said that he had advocated some time ago that if there is a problem with the current executive of the GLTA then they (concerned persons) should `organize’ and run off competitions as a separate entity.

Grant alluded to the formation of the different world boxing bodies, such as the WBA, WBC, IBF and the recently formed WBO, and said that these organizations were formed because people felt that the others were not doing what they had been mandated to do.

He also alluded to the fact that the GLTA has not had any annual general meeting (AGM) for a number of years and said that that is a bad `sign’ and a blot on the organization.

Stabroek Sport had sometime back taken a first-hand look at the lawn tennis courts at the National Park and the NSC (opposite the immigration office on Camp Street). Both of these courts are in dire need of rehabilitation and the GLTA seems powerless to do anything about the issue since it seems to have question marks over its credibility as a national sporting association.