THE YMCA in Freeport, Grand Bahama, has broken ground for a new tennis centre with four courts that will offer youth and adult players the chance to enjoy this games in a safe and professional environment.
“Our new centre will provide the best possible tennis experience,” said YMCA Executive Director Karen Johnson. “We will offer a full tennis programme for all ages and ability levels at reasonable cost, and thereby create a large pool of players and a social tennis environment that is missing for most on Grand Bahama.”
The YMCA is an inclusive organisation of men, women and children joined by a shared commitment to nurturing the potential of young people, promoting healthy lives and fostering a sense of social responsibility.
The tennis project was made possible by the contribution of land from the Grand Bahama Port Authority, as well as the initiative and support of sponsors like Bahamas Hotmix, who are also the main contractors. The opening is expected to take place in October.
Freeport’s original YMCA facility was built in 1970. It was ground zero for the majority of team sports played on Grand Bahama; creating many local sports heroes and aficionados. But in 2004 the facility was destroyed by Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne.
Today’s YMCA has been rebuilt and teaches hundreds of children daily through the learn-to-swim programme. It also meets the challenge of operating in a community plagued by unemployment and rising criminal activity, involving otherwise idle young men and women in positive physical and character-building activity.
Facilities and programmes include a fitness centre, aerobics classes, after-school homework sessions, soccer, baseball, track and field, martial arts and swimming classes. Some 13,000 pre-school and primary school students have already benefitted from the Swim for Ocean Survival (SOS) course.
The overall vision for the new YMCA is to build a comprehensive sports and social facility that attracts a broad spectrum of the community through its programmes and amenities.