Tennis development comes to Alex

Tennis SA CEO Richard Glover wants to develop grassroots tennis stars. Photo: Sipho Siso

ALEX – Tennis SA announces an ambitious development initiative for the sport in township communities in the country.

The sighting of Alex youth in white skirts and shorts with tennis rackets in hand could become a common occurrence on the streets of this iconic township.

This hinges on the success of a proposed grassroots tennis development initiative of Tennis South Africa which aims to get people from various disadvantaged communities of South Africa onto tennis courts.

Tennis SA has decided to take advantage of the government’s easing of the lockdown restrictions around non-contact sport to push a development agenda for amateur tennis while waiting for the full relaxation of the lockdown to allow for competitive sport to begin.

Tennis SA and BNP Paribas South Africa recently announced the continued sponsorship of the third annual BNP Paribas Coaches Mentorship Programme which aims to widen the diversity of registered tennis coaches in South Africa. The programme seeks to equip those from historically disadvantaged communities with coaching skills and licences in an effort to develop the sport in all South African communities, particularly the formerly disadvantaged ones.

The programme will kick-start with an online e-learning programme that will focus on coaching competencies, life skills and personal development. Tennis SA CEO Richard Glover said his federation was grateful to BNP Paribas’ continued commitment to growing local tennis and making the sport more accessible to all communities, especially with the development of coaches nationally in the formerly disadvantaged areas and placing particular emphasis on female coaches.

Vikas Khandelwal, head of territory for BNP Paribas in South Africa said the sporting body supported tennis with the aim to strengthen the sport at local and international levels across both amateur and professional tiers.

Measures have already been put in place to address the challenges related to Internet access, with each of the coaches provided with data for the duration of the e-learning programme in an effort that seeks to boost transformation within the sport nationally.

By: Sipho Siso