On November 30, 2016, Barbados celebrated 50 years of independence. Following the establishment of the first English settlement at Holetown in 1627, Barbados remained a British colony for more than 300 years.
Its independence on November 30, 1966 was marked by the raising of the Barbados national flag and playing the new national anthem for the first time. Ever since, November 30 has been a national holiday.
Following a recent trip to the island, Golden Jubilee celebrations were in full force and everyone was trying to celebrate what makes Barbados unique amongst other islands in the Caribbean. One of the many things that makes her unique, is a sport that started in the 1930s, but known by few.
It is a sport open to all and requires no sport attire; bare feet are fine. That sport is Road Tennis.
Players on the island play in the evenings when the sun goes down, or early in the morning when the heat has subsided, ever so slightly. There is nominal equipment. An 8 inch net, a bald tennis ball, wooden paddles and friendly opponents. With its fast, close volleys, it looks like outdoor ping-ping – without the table!
The court is the road, but we met Road Tennis Ambassador, Vilmoure Jackman who is trying to make the sport go international, where it is played on tarmac on a 20 ft by 10 ft court. As the island’s fire officer, he is also trying to get Road Tennis recognized internationally.
If you want to win a Bajan Road Tennis sport rubber bracelet, be the first two people to write in the comment section below.