The Bahamas is a small country of around 350,000 people with several hundred islands. So our IC is also small at just over 30 members. However we are active, well known and respected in the Bahamian tennis community with eight Past Presidents of our National Tennis Association and a current member of The Bahamas Olympic Association among our membership. We have many Davis Cup and Fed Cup players and National Champions in many age categories among our members. We are proud to have staged an international IC event nearly every year for the last decade including our own Bahamas IC Winter Doubles Weeks, North American IC Junior Challenges and The Gene Scott Trophy. IC’s worldwide are welcome to visit us for sunshine, sea and tennis.
This year we held our fourth International Bahamas IC Doubles Week in January which The USA won closely with our Bahamas team in second place. Shortly after, we went to Florida for The Gene Scott Trophy between the USA and The Bahamas. This we managed to win and reverse the result of the IC Doubles Week event – possibly helped by having the younger side! In summer 2016 we toured to the annual Prague IC Event and on to visit our friends in the Austrian IC for more tennis where we were made very welcome. Two great cities in Prague and Vienna plus good tennis and camaraderie……an enjoyable way to tour for our IC members.
Our domestic IC Winter Invitational league continues each year. Teams are captained by IC Members from various clubs but not limited to IC members - we are too small for that! We invite a team of the best juniors from our National Tennis Centre to participate which they look forward too. It gives them experience against older players and introduces them to the IC. This IC League is now themed “ Hands across the net, friendship across the island”. This year they must have wanted to win as for several matches they included on their team a current senior Davis Cup player who trains there with some of the top juniors. Congratulations to Lyford Cay Club who were this year’s winners.
Our members have been active in staging special coaching events for juniors which our Vice President Neil Mactaggart has helped mastermind and oversee. Our IC is involved in the sponsorship of these. At one event, Justin Cohen, manager of top golfer Adam Scott, and tennis contemporary of Lleyton Hewitt came and talked about his aspect of professional sport. Justin was born in The Bahamas but brought up in Australia and has now returned here. We have this year donated clothing, balls and equipment to a summer camp in one of our family islands which does a great job of getting kids into tennis and good activities.
In November, we are sending a Bahamas team to The Compass North American IC Junior Challenge in Mexico. Two of our juniors on this team, Jacobi Bain ( son of a IC member Bradley) and Sydney Clarke (my partner in our IC league this year), are now training at the new Albany Windsor Tennis Academy in The Bahamas where they have been given scholarships by Albany. Our IC member and multiple Grand Slam doubles winner Mark Knowles will be doing some coaching there and it is great to see him “back home” for this.
I thank all our members for their involvement and believe we are an organisation, like the IC worldwide, of like minded top tennis players who are pleased to be part of the IC International family and to give something back to tennis – “The game for life” we all enjoy.