TSA junior selection panel announced

Tennis South Africa (TSA) has unveiled its new panel of five selectors responsible for the selection of junior national teams. The new panel consists of:
MC Olivier (Free State)
Rowena Sanders (KZN)
Patrick Tsunke (Gauteng East)
Gerrie Dippenaar (Gauteng North)
Jason Smit (Western Province)
Meanwhile, Jakkie Burger, has been appointed as TSA’s first talent scout, with the role of identifying young talent in the schools system.
The initial term of the selection panel commences with immediate effect and runs until the end of March 2019 (which is aligned to the end of the TSA financial year).  The panel will be convened by the new TSA head of high performance and juniors – once appointed. Applications for this position closed at the end of last week.
The appointment of the new panel is the culmination of a thorough selection process. Firstly the roles, including a detailed job specification, were advertised extensively on TSA digital platforms. This resulted in TSA receiving a large number of applications and from this list a short-list of ten candidates, from across the country, was drawn up. These short-listed candidates were then interviewed via Skype.
Commenting on the new panel, Richard Glover, CEO of TSA, said: “The key objective of this process is to professionalize the selection of our junior national teams and to ensure all selections are as transparent and objective as possible. I am sure everyone will have an opinion on the make-up of the new selection panel, but we feel it is a good mix of youth and experience and critically has a wide regional spread.”
“However it must be noted that we are concerned about the relatively small number of applications received from black and female candidates. We are discussing this internally and are looking at ways to broaden the base for future junior selection panels”, added Glover.
Each of the new selectors commented, in turn, on their appointment:
MC Olivier: “I am very grateful for the opportunity presented by TSA to be part of the selectors for junior teams and feel that I can make a difference by identifying and selecting the right players to represent our country and thereby awaken the sleeping giant that is South African tennis.”
Rowena Sanders: “Selection has always been a passion of mine ….to seek out the talented dedicated players, to give them opportunity to gain valuable experience, to grow as players and hopefully to develop into world class players.”
Patrick Tsunke: “The reason for me wanting to be a selector is because of my love of the game. A well monitored system must be put in place to track our players development and advise both parents and the academies on the optimum pathway for each player.”
Gerrie Dippenaar: “I have a broad national and international perspective due to 34 years of tennis experience. I’m very passionate about our juniors and believe the future of SA tennis is bright. It has always been my sincere dream to be part of identifying and selecting the right players for national teams. I’m confident that I can play a positive role in this regard.”
Jason Smit: “I want to help and make sure we pick our best Juniors for all our teams. I want to bring consistency (to selection) and make sure we are all on the same page when picking sides.”
The first task the junior selectors will undertake is the selection of the new national age group squads (boys and girls from under 12 through to under 18) that will be announced during the Growthpoint Junior Masters in October 2017.

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