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MINISTER OF Sport Stephen Lashley wants a global serve for Barbados’ indigenous game of road tennis. “Road tennis has got to go international. I’ve already said to the [National] Sports Council that my plan and my focus is having the first international road tennis tournament in Barbados in a not too short time,” Lashley said on Boxing Day at the end of the highly successful Silver Hill community tournament in his Christ Church West Central constituency. “I believe that it is fitting that the first World Tournament in road tennis is held here in Barbados,” he added. “We are trying to form some synergies across the Caribbean so that we can add to that but already persons are playing road tennis in places like North America and of course even in Asia. I believe that it is global and that is ultimately what I want to see happen in terms of road in Barbados.” Lashley said there were a number of excellent road tennis courts in Barbados but he would also be looking at erecting roofs over some of the roadside courts. “Most of the surfaces are prepared. For example, here at Silver Hill, although we need a new court, what we did is that we actually relaid the road tennis courts and as you can see, it is of superb quality,” he said. “We have Dover, [Belfield, and Bush Hall] and we have surfaces all across Barbados and I think the Sports Council continues to improve the surfaces to ensure that we can actually reach that target.” He acknowledged that indoor facilities were paramount to the improvement of venues, though this was not compulsory for road tennis. “That’s the ultimate plan but of course it doesn’t have to be indoors. Indoors is a question of the resources but certainly what we want to do in time is to cover most of these surfaces so we can’t have the game being impacted on by the rain.” Lashley, whose ministerial portfolio also includes family and youth, welcomed the partnership that has been forged among the Youth Division, the HIV-AIDS Commission and the Constituency Council in working with the competition. “That’s an excellent partnership because the enthusiasm of road tennis can be married with the development of the youth where we can teach youngsters the importance of skills, conduct, demeanour and, of course, the importance of good sexual behaviour,” he said. Lashley noted the Silver Hill road tennis tournament was a follow-up on last year’s inuagural inter-parish tournament. “As Minister of Sport, I tried very seriously to focus our country on this indigenous sport. “There is so much skill within the communities from the youngsters to the oldsters. “The skills they exhibited is certainly something that we can continue to harness and I am very proud to have initiated this tournament here in Silver Hill,” he said.