Sad Farewell to Darren


On Saturday morning an announcement was made that Darren Styles will be leaving GCTA to further his own career. It was a shock to all of us and we wish him well.

On behalf of the parents and players of the Gauteng Squad – I would like to thank Darren for everything that he has done for us. I am sure that most of you will agree that although he does take his tennis seriously he always managed to add an element of fun to the squads. This together with his lively and youthful personality made him a hit with the players.

Through all the years I can honestly say that I never heard Darren speaking harshly or unkindly to anybody. He treated all players, irrespective of level, age, talent or background, equally and without bias; and his attitude towards the parents was always considerate and even.

Darren, we wish you the best of luck in your future endeavours and please know that there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that you are going to be sorely missed!”  – Wendy Chadwick

Wendy Addison – secretary at GC made a moving speech about Darren and here it is for those of you that missed it:

“Darren styles – GCTA provincial coach 2004 – 2009

Darren has been coming ‘officially’ to the squad at Ellis Park for 15 years.

He started playing as part of the then Southern Transvaal provincial squad at the age of eleven and continued as a loyal member until 2001 when he left school and went to university. During that time he was always well behaved, courteous, fiercely loyal yet most competitive.

The fact that his father was the coach and then later an administrator both at Southern Transvaal and now Gauteng Central tennis has made it harder, not easier for Darren as a player.  So often we think that it is because of ‘dad’s’ position that a child can gain easy access to whatever sport or teams they would like to participate in.  I say that in this instance it was despite Mickey that Darren made a success of his tennis career both as a junior and now as a coach.  Mickey has always been fair but throughout the years has always set the standard even higher for Darren than for others.

We couldn’t have wished for a more involved and dedicated coach for the squad than Darren.  We have been most fortunate to have his expertise and influence albeit for too short a time. 

I feel it is the end of an era for me as Darren has always been part of my time at Ellis Park.  Needless to say it is yet another way in which I am feeling my age.

However, we all wish him well in his new venture at the Weltevreden Park club. I’ve no doubt he will make a success at whatever he undertakes, and all I can say is that we at GCTA are the losers.”