The 12th edition of the St Benedict’s Invitational Tennis Festival was held on 20 and 21 January. This year is particularly special as St Benedict’s College is celebrating 60 years of excellence. The ten participating schools were St Benedict’s, St Stithians, King Edward VII School, St John’s, St David’s, HTS Middelburg, Clifton, Cornwall Hill, Westville Boys and Selborne. Selborne College participated for the first time and added a lot of value to the festival. This was a singles only festival where the matches were decided over one Pro Set. The players competed under sweltering conditions and were put under severe physical and emotional pressure.
Selborne College (Justin Cronje, Sam McQuirk, Nicos Efstratou and Seb Hensberg) comfortably won their group to set up an exciting final against Bennies (Liam Day, Chris Roberts, Sibs Hlabangane, Alec dos Santos and Taona Mhwandagara). The hosts won the final (31-23) to recapture the trophy for the first time since 2013.
The player of the festival was Liam Day (Bennies), who played brilliantly throughout the festival. Sportsmanship accolades went to Chris Roberts (Bennies), Tom Rey (Clifton), Sam McQuirk (Selborne), Michael Lowings (St David’s), Richard Hartman (Clifton), Matthew Andrews (Cornwall Hill) and Loago Saleshando (St Stithians).
Richard Glover (CEO of Tennis South Africa) attended for a few hours on Saturday morning, which was really appreciated by all of the players and managers. World Wide Scholarships was available to answer any questions about the possibility of studying overseas. Baseline Runners was on site stringing rackets. All of these “add-ons” resulted in a very enjoyable experience for the players.