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Road tennis aid

Dale Clarke to mend fences with road tennis body

Dale Clarke has shown that he knows what it will take to carry road tennis to the next level.

And he’s willing to help the Barbados Road Tennis Association (BRTA) do the same.

Clarke, the chief executive officer of the Professional Road Tennis Association (PRTA) has almost single-handedly reinvigorated interest back into the island’s indigenous sport.

He offered a whopping $10,000 to the winner of last month’s inaugural Monarchs of the Courts tournament and will award a record-breaking $12,000 to the eventual champion of the upcoming Massy United Insurance Clash of the Titans competition, which is slated to serve off this weekend.

However, in an interview with Barbados TODAY, Clarke said he was willing to work with the local body to help raise the standard of road tennis on the island.

He acknowledged that since the establishment of the PRTA in 2000, the two entities had not developed a good relationship.

Dale Clarke

Dale Clarke

Despite that, Clarke said he was prepared to put their differences aside for the sake of the sport.

“I would be more than willing to work with the BRTA if those in charge were to ask for any assistance,” Clarke hastily admitted when questioned as to if he would be open to working with the BRTA.

He explained that a collaborative effort between the two associations could only augur well for the development of the sport.

“I’d be more than willing to give advice . . . especially as it relates to creating developmental programmes for the junior players and getting the level of officiating up to scratch.”

“A collaborative effort would benefit both the BRTA as well as the PRTA. A better junior developmental programme would help to produce not only more, but also better quality younger players, and that would in turn lead to higher quality tournaments.

“Similarly, if we can work together to get officials up to scratch, then that would also help to raise the quality of road tennis competitions,” Clarke pointed out.

He revealed the PRTA was already in the process of rolling out both coaching and officiating clinics.

But while Clarke said he was keen to lend his assistance in “certain areas,” he was also quick to admit that he thought there was a role for both associations to play in the sport’s development.

“We have different visions and different goals. The BRTA’s scope is on improving road tennis in Barbados, but the PRTA’s vision is beyond that,” he insisted.

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