As Barbados continues efforts to position its global brand and attract new interest in the areas of investment, exports, culture, tourism, and sport, this weekend it is set to welcome the women’s champion of the Road Tennis Tournament hosted by Invest Barbados at the Expo 2020 Dubai from December 10-17, 2021.
Belgium-based Emma Hoang and her male counterpart, Christophe Nickels from Luxembourg, reigned supreme in the road tennis competition held at the Sports, Fitness and Wellbeing Hub. There were 36 participants in the tournament, which followed a week of coaching clinics facilitated by top road tennis players from Barbados. They were the number one and number two players, respectively: Mark “Venom” Griffith and Julian “Michael Jackson” White; Chief Executive Officer of the Professional Road Tennis Association (PRTA), Dale Clarke; and players Aaron Barker, Tito Ellis, and Winslow Birkett. Also accompanying them to Dubai were Jamal Smith and Adrian Donovan, representing the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment.
As their grand prize, Hoang and Nickles each received a seven-day trip to Barbados including accommodation and airline tickets, compliments of British Airways, along with an island tour. The female road tennis champion is scheduled to arrive on the island on Saturday, February 18, 2023, and will stay at The Crane Resort. While in Barbados, she will visit several places of interest and engage in road tennis activities.
Chief Executive Officer of Invest Barbados Kaye-Anne Greenidge said she is especially pleased to welcome Hoang to Barbados and for the opportunity to again promote the indigenous game of road tennis to non-Barbadians.
Reflecting on the competition, Greenidge said, “As the lead agency for the Barbados Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai, we were at the forefront of showcasing Barbados to the world, and what better way to do this than through road tennis, which is uniquely Barbadian? The tournament we held was nothing short of a success, and there was quite a bit of interest from players like Hoang, and Nickles who we look forward to welcoming to Barbados at a later date.”
CEO Greenidge added, “Barbados was among 190 countries that participated in the World Expo themed, ‘Connecting Minds, Creating the Future’. Our participation provided an excellent opportunity to promote the island as a premier destination for tourism and investment to the residents of the UAE and to the 25 million visitors who attended the event.”
The road tennis tournament was facilitated through a partnership with the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Community Empowerment, the National Sports Council, the PRTA, the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., British Airways, The Crane Resort and Invest Barbados.
(From left) Christophe Nickels, Expo Dubai 2020 Male Road Tennis Champion, Ann Mellows, Deputy Commissioner General-Expo Dubai 2020 and Emma Hoang, Expo Dubai 2020 Female Road Tennis Champion celebrating back in December 2021.