The federal shutdown also hit the local tennis community, as the American Memorial Park tennis courts have been closed since last Wednesday.
According to Joy Minor, mother of CNMI’s No. 1 U18 player Thea Minor, many players went to the court last Wednesday afternoon and were greeted with locked gates of the four courts. Channelizer cones (traffic cones) were also in placed at the entrance of the tennis facility.
Thea Minor, who has been playing at the AMP courts since she was 8 years old, said this was the first time she saw the facility locked and she is hoping it will open soon or players will have to settle for “walling.”
Lydia Tan, who represented the CNMI to the Micronesian Games in Palau in 2010, shared the younger Minor and other tennis players’ sentiments.
“Found out this morning (Wednesday) that the AMP tennis courts are padlocked due to the federal government closure. It’s so sad for all tennis players. I hope it will open soon,” Tan wrote in her Facebook account.
Northern Mariana Islands Tennis Association president Jeff Race believed the closure will not be long and compromise among the lawmakers will soon be reached to get things back to normal.
“We (members of the tennis community) are one of the many affected by the shutdown. However, there are others who are more affected by this, so we just have to be patient and hope for the best. There is nothing we can do here but wait for the people up there (Congress) to get their acts together,” Race said.
The NMITA official and CNMI coach added the upcoming tournament under the association’s calendar will not be hit by the closure. NMITA’s next competition is the Tan Holdings Tennis Classic, which will kick off late next month.
The AMP Park was one of the 401 national parks closed due to the federal government shutdown. A budget standoff was still in effect as of presstime despite president Barack Obama’s meeting at the Oval Office with House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner, the Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi.
According to the Associated Press reports, “the president made clear to the leaders that he is not going to negotiate over the need for Congress to act to reopen the government or to raise the debt limit to pay the bills Congress has already incurred.”
House Republicans have been asking Obama to cut funding or delay the implementation of his healthcare law before they approve spending measures that would end the shutdown.