Local sponsors give Island Games tennis a cash boost
Director of tennis for the 2013 NatWest Island Games Ian Gordon and Games chairman Jon Beard are hopeful that companies in Bermuda will invest in local sports and follow the lead of Amlin Bermuda.
Amlin will be the sponsor of the tennis competition at these Games, handing the Bermuda Lawn and Tennis Association (BLTA) a cheque to the tune of $20,000 this week.
The money will assist in the cost of running the tournament.
On hand for the cheque presentation earlier this week was Amlin director Charles Penruddocke, Amlin charity committee chairman Antoinette Simmons, BLTA president Coleridge Place, along with Gordon and Beard.
Gordon insisted that sponsorship and investments like this would go a long way to helping local sports, not just for the Games but also in the future.
“They sponsored our team going to the Games at the Isle of Wight and as a result of that being a successful relationship they were very keen to be a sponsor for the Games this year, but also are looking to sorting out a strategic alliance with the BLTA beyond the Games,” said Gordon.
“This is just one step in them showing their support of the sport and wanting to be a part going forward.
“With having a well funded tournament you are able to use that experience to do other competitions at a high level.
“Tennis at the Games is always played at a high level, just a notch under a region Davis Cup level.”
Bermuda Government, title sponsor NatWest and Amlin have been heavily involved in the Games to date, helping with funds for everything from transport to sorting out facilities for each sport.
Funding is critical to the Games and individual sports, with badminton being highlighted as a prime example of a sport that could use sponsorship in their quest to host international events.
Many sports in Bermuda are able to operate because of government grants and also money they raise privately, with Beard seeing the situation as win-win for all parties involved.
“It is critical that sponsorship comes in,” he said. “When you look at sports like badminton where they don’t the proper facilities to host an international competition, it becomes something that has to be looked at.
“They need the special flooring that they have recently bought themselves.
“The Games is obviously about sports but it should also be about creating a legacy moving forward for the Island, not just having people come here and then leave with nothing for any of the sports to feed off of.
“Amlin is a great example of companies stepping in to help a sport in funding, facilities and things of that nature.
“We want these types of things to continue happening and through all of this, sports on the Island become better and have a support system behind them.
“For me, Charles (Penruddocke) has been a big supporter of tennis and those who wish to help in any sport at any level can do so.
“Companies have choices of packages that they can invest in and they can sponsor a sport, a stadium, a team, transport and so forth and people have been coming in various levels.
“Amlin were the first company to say her is a cheque and we are on board.”
The 2013 Island Games will be held in Bermuda from July 13 to 19, and will feature 16 sports