W.E.R. Joell Tennis Stadium
The BLTA offices are located at the W.E.R. Joell Tennis Stadium. The W.E.R. Joell Tennis Stadium is a government run facility located just outside the city of Hamilton. The facilities have 8 courts: 5 hard courts and 3 clay, including one practice wall. Three courts are lit for evening play.
The facility used to be known as the Government Tennis Stadium until 2003 when it was renamed to W.E.R Joell Tennis Stadium in honour of William E.R. Joell who fought for the rights of blacks to play at the once all white facility. A movement to open the facilities started in the 1950’s when American tennis legend Althea Gibson visited the island (Gibson was the first black tennis player to win a Grand Slam title in 1956). Some years prior to her Grand Slam win, Gibson played a game with Joell and other black Bermudians (Russell Dismont) at the Government Tennis Stadium, but were admonished by the manager of the facility for playing at the all white venue. Joell and Dismont would later go on to petition Government to end discrimination at the Tennis Stadium and in 1954 the petition was presented to the House of Assembly and was unanimously passed.
It is because of Joell’s legacy that many young players have had the opportunity to learn to play tennis and excel in the sport. Today the W.E.R Joell Stadium continues to serve the community offering several grass roots clinics on Saturday mornings, as well as Commercial league programs, junior clinics and major tournaments, open to all.
For more information on tennis programs please contact the BLTA at 1(441) 296-0834 or if you just wish to book a court the W.E.R Joell Tennis Stadium is open to the public, and residents and visitors can book courts from 8am to 10pm throughout the week by contacting 441-292-0105.