Johannesburg, South Africa – This Saturday morning (26 October) will see a historic occasion take place at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Complex in Jabavu, Soweto.
After six long weeks of the first ever schools mini tennis league being played in Soweto, the league will reach its final stages on Saturday when the best of the best will be decided.
Supported by the Department of Sport and Recreation, Tennis South Africa (TSA) launched the Soweto School League last month. Every Wednesday and Friday since launch date, junior players between the ages of 8 and 12 yrs. have been participating in the league. The participating schools are Rutegang Primary, Molaetsa Primary, Makola Primary, Igugu Primary, Thebedisanong Primary and Mohloding Primary. These six schools have being playing each other on a round robin basis with the last round robin being played tomorrow (Wednesday) and the final on Saturday.
This is the first league of its kind in South Africa. TSA adopted the International Tennis Federation(ITF) model of coaching and the theory of it being that teaching tennis should be progressed according to the age and physical growth of a child. It is a concept that coaches and schools have not fully bought into in South Africa. Therefore, according to TSA CEO, Ian Smith, “it is important that the league was played in red, orange and green balls. It showcases that tennis can be played by all young ages and abilities.”
Smith added that the success of the league would also serve as an example to schools across the country how tennis can be incorporated into schools which was critical to the development of the game in South Africa. “Playing with the red ball doesn’t even require a tennis court and using the red ball tennis can be played on any flat surface.” He added that TSA’s intention is to have many more schools participating in next year’s Soweto League.
President of Tennis South Africa, Bongani Zondi will attend the finals and present the winners with their awards following play.