Seychelles Tennis Association assisted by PENLAC to overhaul the tennis courts

By Don Jacques

The Seychelles Tennis Association (STA) received some donations of paint from local paint manufacturer, PENLAC, for the resurfacing of the 5 tennis courts at the Roche Caiman Fitness Centre. The STA has been hosting a two-week Holiday Camp just recently and it ran a bold campaign geared at increasing the number of new tennis players mainly amongst the youth during the current school holidays, with Nicolaus Leringa and Marcus Maria as professional coaches. So far, the STA has received close to 80 budding new players which is a record number of participants compared to before.The Tennis Association’s President, Ms. Fatime Kanté, is at the head of the initiative to raise awareness and funding for the sport, assisted by a few keen parents. It is hoped that tennis will help children build their fitness, confidence, agility, focus and skills that will aid them through their lifetime. When asked why he’s spending part of his company’s CSR proceeds on tennis, Mr. Yakub explained that the reason his company is providing this support now is because “Lawn Tennis really needs the assistance and sports, like tennis, are essential to keep our youth off the streets and get them focused on pursuing a goal through healthy competition.”

To assist in this effort, PENLAC’s Chairman & CEO, Mr Gafoor Yakub, has donated several litres of white road marking paint to demarcate the faded lines and to help distinguish whether the ball is “in” or “out”. The donation of road marking paint will help kick start the renovation of the courts and hopefully revive the game. But he has genuine concerns about the general poor condition of the tennis courts’ surfaces.For the resurfacing of the ‘green’ play area on the 5 tennis courts and even for the white road marking lines at Roche Caiman, Mr. Yakub says that this is tricky or difficult technically because the entire asphalt or tarmac surface seems quite old and battered. So, it is likely to be very porous. He says that ideally all the 5 courts need to be retarmacked or resurfaced to avoid newly applied floor paint seeping through the tarmac when it rains heavily. The Penlac CEO says “An alternative solution would be to apply either an epoxy sealer or an acrylic sealing agent on the asphalt before applying Penlac’s own top grade chrome oxide paint called ‘Pentop’. But that is a product that’s not available locally. Penlac produces acrylic undercoat, primer and acrylic varnish in its factory but not acrylic sealer nor epoxy sealer. Furthermore, our chlorinated rubber sealer is hard drying and not suitable for any asphalt surfaces.” One of Penlac’s Sales Assistants, Sophia Jumaye, who is keen on sports and volleyball in particular, added that the huge contribution and support from Penlac is being granted via the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility tax contributions.

The governing body of world tennis is the International Tennis Federation (ITF) which is affiliated with over 211 national tennis associations, including the Seychelles Tennis Association. The ITF’s governance responsibilities include maintaining and enforcing the rules of tennis, regulating international team competitions, promoting the game, and preserving the sport’s integrity. It is hoped that over time, it may be able to provide some funding to the STA to improve the tennis courts at Roche Caiman and promote the game of tennis in Seychelles.