The President of the Liberia Tennis Federation (LTF) Mr. Adolphus Wade has expressed disappointment over the neglect of the sport, saying the lack of government and corporate sponsorship has denied the national tennis team to participate in international competitions.
The tennis boss said inadequate funding has also affected the development of lawn tennis.
Wade said since his induction in 2015, the association has faced serious challenges in financial and logistics, making it unable to attend the West and Central Africa Open in August-2015 and January-2016.
Wade said the annual budgetary support of US$3,000 to the association is insufficient to carry out its programs as well as participating in international tournaments.
He said during the first year of his term the LTF settled its membership fees with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) at the cost of US$5,000 and with the Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) in the amount of about US$2,200.
Wade said he attended CAT Congress in Tunisia after many years absence.
Wade further said in his term ITF Level 2 Coach Alfred Kandakai was able to travel to Spain to attend a Level 3 Course, which would make him the first Liberian to earn a “Level 3 License.”
Lamenting on the neglect of tennis, Wade noted “If there is support, many kids would be developed to play the game better because tennis is a life changing sport.”
He said playing tennis can help kids and their parents to escape poverty – and it is a poverty reduction strategy game.
“There are over 75 kids playing tennis at the SOS Children’s Village in Mataldi Estate owing to an agreement between the School’s management and the LTF,” Mr. Wade said.
The training which started April 2015 is part of an annual partnership agreement between the two organizations under the theme: “Children and Youth Development.”
The Chief Accountant and Deputy Country Director of SOS Children’s Village, Mr. Simon Tokpohozin said the partnership is part of the school’s vision.
Mr. Tokpohozin said the Village cares, develops and sustains abandoned and destitute children, by providing accommodation, food, education, health, including college education.
Wade appealed to Liberians and foreigners to help support the program to train at least 100 kids.
“My dream before the end of my tenure in 2018 is to develop several tennis players,” Wade indicated.
He revealed that this year’s budgetary support of US$3,000 will be used renovate a tennis court at the Samuel K. Doe Sports Complex.