I was reminded this week that it’s 10 years since Tennis Ireland celebrated its centenary with the launch of the book TENNIS LIVES which my sister and daughter attended on my behalf.
I was honoured to be recognised along with 19 others for whom tennis had played a big part in their lives including Ronnie Delany, 1500 metre Olympic gold medallist in Melbourne in 1956, famous Irish pianist Hugh Tinney, John O’Shea who started GOAL and the great Irish and Lions rugby star Sir Tony O’Reilly.
Irish tennis had so much potential and I get so frustrated with the current state when I see nations like Cyprus, Estonia, Tunisia, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, and Greece producing top players and Ireland not. James McGee, who qualified for two Grand Slam singles has received no funding from Tennis Ireland since 2012 and is at 30 not able to continue on the tour because of insufficient funds. So sad.
I heard that the Tennis Ireland President is due to appear this week before an Oireachtas government committee on sports to discuss funding of minority sports. I hope he can explain why other Irish sports and tennis federations with less resources are successful, and Irish tennis not.