Last Saturday, November 26, many of the children in the after school tennis program conducted by the ATA began cleaning the courts at Ronald Webster Park. This community service project was initiated by Jason Allen, director of tennis for the Anguilla Tennis Academy and CuisinArt Resort and Spa. Mr. Allen recognized that the courts in the park were in serious need of attention. Therefore, he wrote a letter to Mr. Timothy Hodge of the Social Security Board as well as the Honourable Deputy Governor Mr. Mark Capes asking for their approval and assistance. The Social Security Board was originally responsible for building the courts as well as installing the lights. However, because of neglect, the courts have begun to deteriorate. The courts were not the only problem however as there is a great deal of glass, trash, weeds, tall grass, rocks and dirt on and outside the courts. There was also a need for new nets as both are in poor condition. Both Mr. Hodge and Mr. Capes gave Mr. Allen their approval to begin the project. Also, Mr. Hodge and the Social Security Board donated USD $200 for any expenses for tools, trash bags, and water for the children.
The children began cleaning the west end court as it is the best of the two. All the brush, trash, rocks, and sand were removed from the court as well as around the playing area. Also, a new net was donated to the court by the Anguilla Tennis Academy. With the help of Sebastian Rogers, one of the many people from the general public who enjoy the court, the net was installed correctly. Mr. Allen commented, "the children enrolled in the after school program utilize these courts and I want them to have the best conditions available. I also want the children to learn that involvement in the community is an essential part of becoming a responsible citizen. Moreover, it is important that children respect the field or court on which they play and ensure its maintenance. I am enthusiastic about this ongoing community project and I would like to thank Mr. Hodge and Mr. Capes for helping me realize this initiative. We plan to clean the east end court in the park as well as the tennis court the east end primary school. Of course I must also thank the children and parents who got involved as this clean-up would not have been possible without them. They all worked diligently and efficiently and gave their court a face lift."
As Mr. Allen mentioned, this is an ongoing project that will last over the forthcoming months. The east end court of Ronald Webster Park is in extremely bad condition and is never used by the public or the children. It will require more work and resources as well as the court at the east end primary school. Mr. Allen also mentioned that it may be possible to have all three courts resurfaced professionally when the courts at the ATA facility are being done. In essence, there is only one court in all of Anguilla that can be used by the public and the kids. Therefore, this community project is warranted and will be carried out by the ATA in order to ensure that its philosophy is put into practice. The ATA wholeheartedly believes in educating children to appreciate and give back to the community.