Black Immigrant Daily News
Barbados’ indigenous sport, road tennis, could possibly be on the world stage in the future.
According to president of the International Olympic Committee (IOC), Thomas Bach, “it will take some time” for road tennis to become an Olympic Sport, but talks have commenced with Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley on steps necessary for the international recognition of the sport.
Bach was speaking to the media at the Barbados Olympic Association (BOA) on Thursday.
“I must admit that I didn’t know before but when I learnt on arrival . . . . We had hardly started the talk with the Prime Minister and she was already into road tennis, so we agreed that the Prime Minister, together with the NOC [National Olympic Committee] will send a small delegation to the IOC to Switzerland.”
“There we would give advice on how to make the sport more international, how to organise this, which promotion needs to be done and then I hope we will see progress in the development of road tennis,” Bach remarked.
The IOC president revealed road tennis meant two major requirements of new Olympic sports – it is inclusive to all ages and can be practised in urban areas.
“First of all, it is very inclusive. It does not need a lot of equipment. It does not need a stadium so it is very inclusive. And secondly, it is practised in urban centres and can be practised in urban centres and this is where we think is the future of sport.”
“Nowadays in sport, we are in competition for the leisure time of the young generation. They have so many options for their leisure time and so that means we cannot like in the old times wait for the kids to come to us, to come to the stadium, to collect equipment . . . . We in sport have to go where these kids are [and] this in the urban centres, so therefore, I see good potential for road tennis,” Bach said.
“It will take some time but as the Chinese say ‘every long journey first starts with a small step’, and I guess we have done today. This is the first small step in this long journey,” he continued.