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New lights at tennis stadium criticised by ITF representative

The tennis courts at the newly refurbished WER Joell Stadium (Photograph by Akil Simmons)

The lights servicing the refurbished tennis courts at WER Joell Stadium have been criticised by a senior representative of the International Tennis Federation.

With the Bermuda Lawn Tennis Association hopeful of hosting two international tournaments, one for professionals and one for juniors, at the stadium later this year, John Goede, the ITF development officer for the Caribbean, has undertaken his annual inspection and run the rule over the changes made at the government-owned facility.

As part of the renovations, four floodlights in the centre of the courts have been removed and not replaced, with users of the stadium complaining that the lighting has been made worse than before the renovations with the centre of the tennis courts insufficiently lit in the evenings.

While keen to commend some of the renovations carried out at the stadium, including the resurfacing of the courts, Goede has questioned whether the infrastructure is of sufficient quality for professional tournaments.

“I’m happy with the resurfacing of the courts, that’s wonderful,” Goede said.

“But when I look at the stadium, the lights can be better and this is something that is going to be in my report.

“Once they have tested how the light is on every corner of the court, they will understand that there is going to be more light needed, especially in the middle of the court.

“For example on those courts [pickleball], they have added new lights. I hope they will add additional lights on the four poles, in time for the competition.”

At the time of the renovations, Jekon Edness, Senior Sports Development Officer at the Department of Youth, Sport and Recreation, outlined the importance of lighting to the refurbishment works in a social media release.

“The light project is very important,” Edness said. “Prior to us getting additional lights for courts four and five and the wall, it was only tennis on courts one to three.

“As everyone knows the evenings at the WER Joell facility is very busy, so with the additional courts becoming available due to lighting, it will help us to access more people coming to the facility and play after hours.”

The Royal Gazette has reached out to the government with a number of questions regarding the lighting but they are yet to respond.

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Published April 19, 2024 at 7:59 am (Updated April 19, 2024 at 7:38 am)

New lights at tennis stadium criticised by ITF representative

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