With the lifting of the lockdowns and sporting activities slowly returning to a state of normalcy, the St. Kitts-Nevis Tennis Association (SKNTA) served its first major tournament on Monday evening (Sept. 21) since the advent of the pandemic.
The body will host its one-week Independence Open Tournament under strict COVID-19 protocols.
With restrictions still in place due to the national protocols, this year’s tournament will be limited to six categories only – the Men’s and Women’s Open Singles, Men’s Masters Singles , Men’s and Women’s Doubles, and the Juniors.
Commenting on the staging of the event, President of the St. Kitts-Nevis Tennis Association Watkins Chiverton explained that this is one of the most important local features on the SKNTA’s calendar.
“This tournament is the marquee feature on the calendar of activities for the tennis body. Tennis players from all walks of life look forward to competing because it gives locals a sense of pride to want to win the tournament that recognises the independent and social St. Kitts and Nevis,” said Chiverton.
According to the President, the tournament is a welcomed boost for those people who were longing for a return of the sport discipline at a competitive level, owing to the curfew.
“The plans are to host this tournament under guidelines, which means social distancing, minimum spectator size, temperature checks and the hand sanitation. We want this to be welcome for people to return to the sport. We held our junior camp earlier this year and it gave us a sense of how we can handle a tournament with a full draw, and we are fully prepared,” the President disclosed.
To meet the prescribed protocols, the tournament referee, the organisers and the Executives have decided to limit the number of matches per evening with a majority of the junior matches being played early in the after and the seniors in the evenings.