Ten­nis SA shows Growth­point

New spon­sor will help fed­er­a­tion with devel­op­ment and to con­cen­trate on the ‘sexy’ stuff

The Star Early Edition - - SPORT - OCK­ERT DE VIL­LIERS

SOUTH African ten­nis devel­op­ment will re­ceive a boost af­ter Growth­point was re­vealed as the na­tional fed­er­a­tion’s head­line spon­sor.

The ini­tial, two-year spon­sor­ship, will fo­cus on ten­nis devel­op­ment, club ten­nis and ju­nior ten­nis, Ten­nis South Africa’s (TSA) chief ex­ec­u­tive, Richard Glover, an­nounced yes­ter­day.

“Their (Growth­point) back­ing is a mas­sive en­dorse­ment of the new pos­i­tive en­ergy flow­ing through our fed­er­a­tion,” Glover said.

“Growth­point un­der­stands that for a sport to thrive, in­vest­ment is first needed in the foun­da­tions – hence their fo­cus on devel­op­ment, clubs and ju­niors.

“With Growth­point’s sup­port, the sleep­ing gi­ant that is ten­nis in South Africa is start­ing to stir.”

The cash in­jec­tion from the prop­erty group would fund, among oth­ers, TSA’s new trans­for­ma­tion and devel­op­ment plan. This in­cludes the in­tro­duc­tion of three new cen­tres of devel­op­ment ex­cel­lence and the cre­ation of a na­tional devel­op­ment squad.

Growth­point will have nam­ing rights to the TSA ju­nior tour­na­ments and the new Na­tional Club Cham­pi­onships.

The Na­tional Club Cham­pi­onships will con­sist of 14 re­gional events across the coun­try and a na­tional grand fi­nal based on a dou­bles ten­nis for­mat for men and women.

Glover said al­though Growth­point was the main­line spon­sor, it was not an exclusive agree­ment, al­low­ing other cor­po­rates to part­ner with TSA.

“Growth­point are happy for us to bring in other spon­sors, so we’ve got an­other spon­sor in the pipe­line from a high-per­for­mance ten­nis per­spec­tive,” Glover said.

“High-per­for­mance is a big pri­or­ity for us and we are re­ally look­ing at ten­nis from three as­pects: In­ter­est, high-per­for­mance and par­tic­i­pa­tion.”

Glover said TSA were mak­ing progress on the elite side of the sport, where they were in the early stages of plan­ning for a na­tional ten­nis cen­tre.

He said the money would be al­lo­cated to ten­nis devel­op­ment, ju­nior ten­nis, and the club tour­na­ment, while some funds would be used for ad­min­is­tra­tive use.

“It is ex­cit­ing be­cause it means we can now in­vest in our foun­da­tion and now we can start fo­cus­ing on the sex­ier stuff, like bring­ing in­ter­na­tional ten­nis to South Africa,” Glover said.

“This is now our fifth spon­sor we’ve brought in since the start of (the year) and this is by far the big­gest.

“It is good in these tough times where a lot of peo­ple are strug­gling find spon­sors.”

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