St Lucia Tennis Association Inc.
The St. Lucia Tennis Association Inc. has been incorporated under the laws of St. Lucia and bears registration no. X of 2010.
The company is a “non-profit company” without a share capital and has its registered office at the National Tennis Centre situated at Beausejour in the Quarter of Gros Islet, St. Lucia, West Indies.
Board of Directors
- Mr. Stephen McNamara – President
- Mr. Trevor Hunte – 1st Vice-President
- Mr. Digby Ambris – 2nd Vice-President
- Mrs. Magdalene William- Charles – Secretary
- Ms. Adriana Thomas – Treasurer
- Ms. Melissa Francois – Director of Tournaments and Scholarships
- Mr. Ron Blanchard – Director of Coaches and Training
- Mr. Anselm Mathurin – Director of Events and Projects
- Mr. Girard Glace – Director of Premises and Equipment
The mission of The St. Lucia Tennis Association is to cultivate and improve the development of tennis in the island nation of St. Lucia by promoting affordable tennis island-wide with emphasis on youth development and health.
History of Tennis in St Lucia
Although indications are that tennis was played, there may not have been many tennis courts in St. Lucia during the first half of the 20th century. However, during the 1950’s and 1960’s, the game of tennis was played mainly at three venues –The Vigie club; The Palm Beach club and The Gardens club. Government House and a few other significant properties had private courts. At this time also, there were a few hotels but none with tennis courts available to the public.
The first Barnard Cup was held in St. Vincent in 1969 and it was after that event in 1970, persons in St. Lucia came together and formed the SLTA.
During the 1970’s and 80’s, The Cunard La Toc Hotel was extremely generous in opening its doors for locals to access the courts. This resulted in The La Toc Racquet Club becoming the centre of tennis for the Eastern Caribbean where all national and international events were held. It is worthy of note that The La Toc Racquet Club was the venue of the first Coca Cola event which as an international event placed St. Lucia on the tennis atlas. Other high profile tournaments to be hosted at this privately owned facility included, inter alia, The Barnard Cup, The Hughes Cup, The Brandon Trophy and The OECS Trophy.
Notwithstanding the structural and corporate changes that took place during the 1990’s, Club St. Lucia made facilities at their St. Lucia Racquet Club available at a nominal price to members of the public. Such support would not have materialized without the vision of citizens as Theo Gobat, Bill Stewart and tennis icon John “Johnnie” Easter.
The St. Lucia Racquet Club as an outstanding corporate citizen took the mantle of homing tennis on St. Lucia for local, regional and international activities well into the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century.
Over the years, the cost to play tennis in St. Lucia was high as the expense to maintain private properties had to be paid by owners who, in effect, were subsidising the local players.
There were also many patriotic and community persons as Roger Sutherland, Primrose Bledman, Parry Husbands, Brian Crick, Reginald Cherebin, Oliver Sampson, Ornan Monplaisir, John Easter and Stephen McNamara who served as Presidents.
Coco Cola and the DuBoulays, Cable and Wireless through Keats Compton, St Lucia Electricity Services through Bernard Theobalds, Ellery Didier, Heineken, and Trevor Cozier all facilitated significant sponsorships.
The St. Lucia National Tennis Centre officially opened its doors on 11th April 2011, to the public.
Today, thanks to the Taiwanese Government, we have a facility with six international standard courts where all can come and enjoy and play the sport of Tennis.