Philippine tennis gets a big shot in the arm as stakeholders put up a united stand for change and agreed to reorganize the association and spur its growth during the Philippine Tennis Summit last weekend.
Philippine Tennis Association acting president Randy Villanueva said the daylong convention at the Makati Sports Club proved to be a huge success as “everyone showed up including regional officials, top organizers and major sponsors.”
Philippine Sports Commissioner Charles Maxey also attended the event, representing chair Butch Ramirez.
Among the attendees were former regional vice presidents, representatives of tennis clubs from Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao, current Philta board members, national coaches, players’ representatives and supporters Head Rackets, Dunlop, Slazenger, Prince, Wilson, Babolat, Solinco, Yonex Chris Sports and Toby’s.
Also gracing the meet were major sponsors Cebuana Lhuillier, led by Philta chair Jean Henri Lhuillier, and Palawan Pawnshop headed by Bobby Castro. Together, their companies bankroll 80 percent of tennis tournaments, including the age-groupers, in the country.
Representatives of different schools, tennis parents, officials of Philippine Ladies Tennis League and Philippine Columbian Association chief organizer Raul Diaz were also in attendance.
Villanueva said the stakeholders agreed to address the issues hurting Philta including amendment of its charter. “Our goal is to have 100,000 members of Philta,” said Villanueva who also batted for representations from all regions in the country.
He added that the International Tennis Federation has been monitoring the changes in Philta through his reports.
Villanueva also laid down strategy how to create funding and set in motion extensive training programs to produce high-caliber players. “To be considered world class tennis association, we should have at least two Olympians,” he said.
Treat Huey failed to make the cut in the Rio Games but is hopeful to finally make it in Tokyo 2020. Right now, Huey, Ruben Gonzales, Francis Casey Alcantara, Jeson Patrombon and Alberto Lim Jr., are the only ones actively campaigning on the ITF tour.