Four To Represent Jamaica At Billie Jean Championships

Just a few months after being elected as the president of the Confederation of Tennis of Central American and the Caribbean (COTECC) Sub-region 3 countries, Bahamian Perry Newton is up for another post, this time right at home.

Newton’s two-year stint as the president of the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) has expired, and the tennis executive has confirmed that he is running for the top spot again. The list of candidates for all of the posts will be finalized by this Sunday, and the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Election of Officers is set for next Saturday at the BLTA’s National Tennis Center inside the Queen Elizabeth Sports Complex.

The positions up for grabs are president, vice president, general secretary, assistant secretary, treasurer, assistant treasurer, two BLTA directors and two National Tennis Center (NTC) directors. Voting delegates are urged to obtain the election slate of nominees and the single nomination forms, and have them completed and submitted by this coming Sunday.

Currently, the sport of tennis is being played on four islands in The Bahamas – New Providence, Grand Bahama, Abaco and Eleuthera. Newton said one of his goals is to expand the sport throughout the Commonwealth of The Bahamas. He said they intend to fulfill the mission of the association which is to lead the growth and promotion of the sport in The Bahamas, and build a system that helps produce would-class players and that fosters the pursuit of excellence for all.

“The past two years we have endured so much but we are determined to press forward,” said Newton. “We will continue to 

prepare ourselves to walk through the door of opportunity. In 2022 our focus will continue to be growth through development.”

Last summer, The Bahamas’ Billie Jean King Cup team of Kerrie Cartwright, Sydney Clarke, Elana Mackey and Sierra Donaldson finished third in their regional competition. The Davis Cup team of Justin Roberts, Kevin Major Jr., Baker Newman and Marvin Rolle advanced to the promotional playoffs before bowing out.

Newton said those performances show that The Bahamas has the talent to compete at a very high level in the sport of tennis.

In September of 2021, Newton was elected as president of the COTECC Sub-region 3. He will be at the helm for a two-year period, and has jurisdiction over countries such as The Bahamas, Bermuda, the Cayman Islands, Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico.

He said at the time that this is an exciting and amazing opportunity for Bahamian tennis.

“I feel as though the door of opportunity has been opened for athletes, administrators, coaches and the country. I am humbled and look forward to serving as part of the COTECC team. I look forward to bringing more tennis focus, activities and collaboration to Sub-region 3. I thank God for this wonderful opportunity to represent The Bahamas on this global stage,” he said.

COTECC is one of six regional bodies sanctioned by the International Tennis Federation (ITF), and is divided into four sub-regions. The main goals of the body are to encourage, direct, organize, regulate, govern and disseminate the practice of tennis; and to organize and run tournaments, championships and training programs for national tennis federations.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic reached this side of the world in early 2020, there hasn’t been much activity for sports, including tennis. Athletes were able to get back in action in 2021, locally and regionally, but on a smaller scale than what they are accustomed to. Newton said it is his goal to have more tournaments staged, not just in The Bahamas but throughout the region, in 2022, but that in itself is dependent on the health and safety protocols of the various host countries.

In December, Spencer Newman and Sydney Clarke were able to win the national titles at the Giorgio Baldacci Open National Championships and book their spots on the 2022 Davis Cup and Billie Jean King Cup teams, respectively.

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