Tennis-Stravens finances new court surface


07-May-2009

Mr Stravens (left) watches as the workers do the line marking

“It’s a donation from me and the HSI Enterprise to the tennis club,” Mr Stravens told Sports Nation on Tuesday as he interrupted his early morning training session with personal coach Steven Rideau-Mein.

“I’ve learned to love tennis over the short time and it’s good to give something back to the community and the Seychelles government.”

Well known for the Mahe-Praslin crossing on a windsurfing board, Mr Stravens imported all the materials, hired experts from South Africa and paid local workers to work on the project.

“The resurfacing work has been done at a substantial cost, but I’m happy to give this gift to Seychelles’ tennis and the country’s youth. It’s an honour for me to do this,” he added.

Mr Stravens said that if his company, established 28 years ago, continues to flourish business-wise in the near future he will do some repair work on the tennis clubhouse.

Resurfacing work and line marking were to be completed yesterday, and Nip Lennon of the South Africa-based Tenecon Sports Surfaces company said it has taken them much longer than anticipated.

“Normally, it takes four or five days to complete such a job. But the weather was inclement with us. We also had to do a lot of work to level the concrete base, which was very rough,” he said.

The new resurfaced court comprises four layers. The first one is a filler coat, the second a leveller, the third an oxide base coat, and the fourth a green oxide coat.

There is talk that the remaining four courts will be resurfaced later in the year as Vijay Construction and Civil Construction Company Limited have offered to do them.

The International Tennis Federation has also shown an interest in giving US $20,000 (around R280,000) for the work provided the National Sports Council (NSC) or the Seychelles government finances some of the work.
NSC chief executive Alain Volcère said because of its tight budget, his organisation and the Seychelles Tennis Association decided to knock on the doors of potential sponsors.

“We were able to convince Vijay Construction and CCCL to get on board,” he said.
“We also have other projects, like seating arrangements for the centre court, for tennis,” added Mr Volcère.
South African Mr Lennon, who is helped by compatriot Mike Wilson, said he hopes his company gets the contract to resurface the other courts.

“I’ve suggested a different process for the other courts. It’s a chip-and-spray over layer method, which is more expensive. But it is the best method for the kind of rough concrete base you have here,” he added.
All the courts were built in 1993 to host the fourth Indian Ocean Islands Games.

G. G.

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