Newsletter No 12

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CONGRATULATIONS

We can not begin this newsletter without congratulating our vice President, Bongani (Wires) Zondi on his election as President of SA Tennis.

Some, if not most of you, will have the various press articles written about him since his election at the AGM of SA Tennis at the beginning of August. His vision is clearly spelt out in these with, understandably and quite rightly so, development of the game at all levels as his pre requisite for measuring any success during his tenure.

We, as a Province, are honoured that he has been elected, and he joins a long list of esteemed people from both Transvaal and Gauteng Tennis Association to be accorded the highest honour the sport can offer, from an administration point of view.

We wish him every success in his position.

ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING

For the first time in a number of years the AGM was held at the newly refurbished Ellis Park, and we thank all those club delegates who attended.

For those who were unable to attend the main discussion point was the Government has decreed that all sports in each Province should be run under the auspices of one controlling body. At the present time tennis within Gauteng Province is administered by us as in Gauteng Central, Gauteng North and Gauteng East.

In order that we qualify for Government grants and/or subsidies, they, the Government, will only deal with one body. So the upshot of this is that the three current bodies will in future become Districts under the new body Gauteng Tennis Association. The new association will be run a committee comprising the current three Presidents, Bruce Gray, Clark Coetzer and Ken Smith along with an additional member from each of the three current Provincial bodies.

The agreement is that any funds granted to the new body, these will be split equally between what will be the three districts, with the proviso that should any one district have any specific additional need then consideration will be given to that on a case to case basis.

Failure by us to adhere to this request from Government would mean that we as a Province as we now stand, would not be eligible for any funding from this source. That
would be a foolish decision to take when considering the overall benefits to tennis within Gauteng.

We are not alone in this as Western Province and Boland have had to come under one umbrella, as well as Eastern Province and Border.

The three districts would run their own affairs on an autonomous basis, so from the point of view of leagues and tournaments the status quo remains.

The following committee was agreed upon;

President  Bruce Gray
Vice President  Bongani Zondi
Treasurer  Marco Petersen
Selection committee Bruce Gray, Clive Watkinson and Greer Leo-Smith
Junior chairperson Clive Watkinson
Club delegates  Bruce Gray, Mike Dunk, Scott MacGregor and
Development Officer Daniel Modisakeng.

We welcome Scott MacGregor and Schalk Vorser to the committee and look forward to their participation and assisting with the running of tennis in the Province. Both bring their own blend of expertise and experience from within their own club structures, and look forward to their vision and commitment. Schalk is a welcome addition as he will represent the Veterans, an area that has not been covered directly in recent years.

SUMMER LEAGUE

Although the winter was recognised as one of the coldest on record, the first day of Bundes Liga produced the most perfect day for tennis. Warm, sunny and not a breath of wind greeted the players at Ellis Park, and it was extremely pleasing to hear a number of positive comments about the newly resurfaced courts and general surrounds. Yes, there is still a lot to do, there always will be if the truth be known, but the start has been greeted with enthusiasm by both those playing and indeed some of the spectators.

We wish all of you good tennis throughout the league and remind you of the Olympic code which states “it is not in the winning, but in the taking part” that is of paramount importance.

Sad to say that the good weather of Saturday turned dull, grey and somewhat miserable on Sunday!

100 YEAR OLD CLUB COMPETITON 

At the initiative from Spain, a club tournament was staged at the Wanderers on 20 August bringing together those clubs which were a 100 or more years old. Four clubs within our region were eligible and they were Johannesburg Country Club, Bedfordview Country Club, Old Edwardians and the Wanderers.

The make up of the teams was determined by various age categories. Bedfordview beat Old Edwardians in the final.

As a piece of “useless information,” tennis was first played in South Africa in Port Elizabeth. The newly appointed Governor General arrived to take up his appointment and was so disappointed when he docked in Port Elizabeth, that he constructed what was then a sand court at his residence and invited friends to join him.

From such small beginnings.

JUNIORS

Our Saturday squads are going from strength to strength, and this is directly attributable to the variety of coaches now involved. Each brings their own area of expertise and the kids are now arriving wondering what new techniques and drills they will be taught to day. Gone are the days when they arrived, hit balls and basically then went home. They now have a mind full of initiatives unknown to them in the past, and the evidence of their success at Junior Inter provincial bears testimony to the way the new coaching methods have proved to be the correct way forward.

By Mike Dunk