Overseas sponsors willing to help lawn tennis in Guyana
AGM best news in years, Diwani Lewis By Clyde Pestano
January 11, 2004
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National lawn tennis champion Diwani Lewis, who recently returned to Guyana from the USA after attending a ten-week lawn tennis training programme, has disclosed that persons overseas are willing to sponsor local tournaments.
Lewis mentioned that he met an American, John Skinner from Baltimore, USA, while training and held discussions with him.
The player said that Skinner has a very good programme and would not mind extending assistance to the Guyana Lawn Tennis Association (GLTA).
Lewis also disclosed that former national player Marvin Hinds, who migrated to Canada, has also expressed interest in sponsoring a junior tournament. The player told Stabroek Sport that when he heard the GLTA was having an annual general meeting after so many years, he was ecstatic.
"That's the best thing that could have happened for tennis in Guyana. I hope everything is positive, I'm so happy to see the AGM being held after so many years."
According to the young man, lawn tennis in Guyana has been on the rocks for far too long and it is time something was done to revitalize the sport. He hopes that soon after the AGM is held and the association has a proper executive in place tournaments can take place.
The player also mentioned that Feroze Khan, the proprietor of West Indian Sports Complex, had also expressed a willingness to sponsor a junior tournament and said he would approach him soon on this.
However, he noted that the public lawn tennis courts at the National Park and the National Sports Commission needed urgent attention. Some new courts need to be constructed as well, he said, adding that at least two more public courts can be constructed at the National Park adjacent to the ones currently there.
He lauded the persons responsible for fencing the courts at the NSC, but noted that tennis is not played on a fence. The champ said that he would like the game to get back to what it was a few years ago with at least 15 tournaments annually.
Lewis also expressed pleasure at the achievements of little Sachia Vickery in this newspaper and told Stabroek Sport that the young lady is talented indeed.
According to him, Vickery can hit almost every shot in the book. He said, "I know her personally and I can guarantee you that she has a long way to go in the tennis world."
Lewis said he met her last year and practiced with her. He said Vickery has an insatiable appetite for tennis and that that was incredible for someone of her age.
"She's aggressive and she has a long way to go, I was so amazed that someone so little can have such a wide array of shots." Lewis feels that there is a lot of talent in Guyana which needs to be harnessed. He said, "If we don't do that, it will be a waste.
We need the courts and more facilities to achieve this. Hopefully we will get back in the good books of the International Tennis Federation and access their assistance once again so that we can restore the sport to its former glory."