President of the Bahamas Lawn Tennis Association (BLTA) Perry Newton has been re-elected as president for the COTECC (Confederation of Tennis of Central American and the Caribbean) Sub Region 3 for the 2023-2025 period in Cancun, Mexico.
Newton made history in 2021 when he was first elected to serve as president of the subregion which includes Bermuda, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and the Cayman Islands. He rejoins a nine-member board tasked with leading and serving the region in tennis development over the ensuing years.
Persio Maldonado was also re-elected, serving as COTECC president and will lead the board over the next two years.
During the COTECC Annual General Meeting (AGM), the BLTA received an award for excellence in tennis development in The Bahamas. The Bahamas was the only English-speaking country to receive such a prestigious award. Two other nations, Costa Rica and the Dominican Republic, also received this noteworthy accolade.
The International Tennis Federation (ITF) and COTECC reviewed the nominees and The Bahamas was awarded for excellence in events and participation. The key work by the BLTA noted were the hosting of the international Junkanoo Bowl at the BLTA’s National Tennis Centre (NTC), national tournaments throughout the islands, NTC programs and a junior tennis initiative with the “Play Tennis” kids. The Bahamas also participated in six regional events
organizing and managing eight teams in 2023.
Other honorable mention initiatives were the training courses organized by the BLTA including the ‘Play Tennis’ course for coaches and officiating course for officials, the NTC’s pursuit for ITF recognition and its active participation in the ITF Academy. President Newton expressed his appreciation on receiving the award on behalf of the BLTA.
“There are many who have contributed to the BLTA’s achievement, including those who have gone before to lay a firm foundation. A primary focus during the last three years was to build on the tennis pillars of coaching, junior development and officiating to ensure tennis sustainability,” he said.
President Newton thanked the ITF for the recognition and support over the years, stating that their guidance has been invaluable.
“Thanks to the coaches who have been newly trained and those existing coaches who constantly retool, to the players both young and old who are committed in honing their craft, to the BLTA officials, executives and administrators and the NTC Directors who have served unselfishly, this award is for each and every one of you who volunteer and serve with professionalism and grace,” he said. “My administration has worked very hard to ensure that there are opportunities for all and that there is development at all levels and throughout the islands. It is good that this work has been acknowledged by our international governing body.
“We are encouraged when newly trained officials serve at our national tournaments, new tournaments are hosted in Abaco by the Abaco Tennis Association and there is increased junior participation from Eleuthera (the Eleuthera Tennis Association), Grand Bahama (the Grand Bahama Tennis Association), Abaco, Nassau and throughout The Bahamas. We are further motivated with the increase in certified coaches and more adults and children playing across the entire Bahamas. I thank God who has made our way prosperous and guides our pathway. This award only spurs us on to continue the work and to develop and grow the sport. To God be the glory for great things He hath done.”
ITF President David Haggerty was on hand to present President Newton with the award of excellence along with John Goede, the ITF Development Officer for the Caribbean.
The officers and members of the BLTA congratulates President Newton on his reelection to the board as the president for the COTECC Sub Region 3.
“We know you will represent and serve your country and the region well. We also congratulate the BLTA on receiving such a prestigious global award; this is the first time The Bahamas has received such an accolade. Continue to break barriers, make Bahamian tennis history and set new levels as you strive for excellence with God’s grace,” a statement read.
Newton will serve for the next two years, from 2023-2025.