Ghana Tennis Aid National Tournament
7 - 9 August 2007
With former tennis volunteers sending over lots of brand new tennis balls aswell as brand new clothes and rackets we had brought to Ghana ourselves - we decided to organise a 3 day knockout tournament consisting of a 16 draw Mens Singles Tournament, Ladies Singles and Boys and Girls under 14 contest at The National Sports College in Winneba. The Head Coach at the sports college, Noah, invited players from all over the country to compete with a one cedi entry fee [about 60p] while we constructed the draw and made posters to put around campus of the University of Winneba.
Checking out the draw..
While Coach scoffs Sugar Cane!
The best thing about Ghana is that everything is so easy to organise and you can pretty much do anything! The interest was huge and the tournament ended up being labelled ‘National’ as we had players coming from all over Ghana to stay at the university to compete – it felt like Wimbledon – very exciting! We also had referees coming to help manage the tournament as well as recruiting children to be ball boys and ball girls and others as line judges.
The tournament was the talk of campus and Coach Noah arranged for us volunteers to go and talk live on air about our intentions for helping tennis in Ghana and the tournament on Ghanaian Radio Station 'Windy Bay FM’.
It also gave us a chance to thank Taysec/Taylor Woodrow’s involvement and the other sponsors and parties who contributed to getting the equipment and prizes to Ghana.
Refreshments always on hand - water ladies struck gold
The games begin.....
Ghanaian style of winning a tennis match!
The tournament lasted 3 days with outstanding quality tennis, a few injuries and a tennis atmosphere that we'd never seen – when you watch a serious Ghanaian tennis match there’s a lot of banter, people running on the court and lifting the winner into the air in celebration!
Windy Bay FM came down on Finals Day and interviewed volunteers for a second time courtside. The players took it in turns to umpire all the different matches with the victorious winners being all from the Winneba Tennis Academy - Charles Abu for his electrifying men’s singles final, Lizzy and Jeff Bagerbaseh for the 14 & Under and Anita Kodjoe was the eventual Ladies Winner– even volunteer Emma had a go at competing with the Africans in the Ladies Singles!
Finals Day - Prize Ceremony
At the prize ceremony, we awarded prize money from our volunteer placement fee to the winners and runners up aswell as spare trophies, medals and certificates that we'd brought over from the UK. The players were also given a brand new racket and a bag each of sports clothing and other prizes. All the women and girls who competed were awarded prizes to encourage competition aswell as the quarter finalists and semi finalists. To finish, we had awards for 'Best Senior Performance’ and ‘Best Junior Performance’ of the tournament where a new Babolat tracksuit and Tennis Bag were prizes up for grabs.
Mens Singles Final
CHARLES ALLOTEY beat EUGENE HAMMOND
7-6 (13-11) 4-6, 6-4
Ladies Singles Final
ANITA KODJOE beat AUNTY MARIAMA
Girls 14 & Under Final
LIZZY BAGERBASEH beat FRANCISKA NYARKO
Boys 14 & Under Final
JEFF BAGERBASEH beat HERMAN ABBAN
Best Senior Performance
Best Junior Performance
As the Ghana Tennis Aid National Tournament was such a success with the team work of volunteers and the local community of Winneba, the draws and results were sent to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) of West Africa for their records of active tournaments in West Africa, 2007.