The Tennis South Africa (TSA) development programme is on a roll. On Friday, TSA launched its latest Growthpoint Development Centre – in Atteridgeville, Tshwane.
The Tshwane facility is the third of five TSA Growthpoint Development Centres to be launched in the next few months. The first Development Centre was launched in Cape Town late last year, followed by the second centre in Soweto earlier this year.
The decision to base the centre at the Atteridgeville tennis facility in Atteridgeville, west of Pretoria, was made following a tender process run by TSA, in co-operation with the City of Tshwane and Gauteng North Tennis.
Atteridgeville has a strong tennis culture, with a vibrant club also operating at the facility. The club was formed in 1994 when 3 clubs (Ditshepe, Broadway and Sumer Pride) belonging to the Atteridgeville Saulsville Tennis Association (ASTA), joined together at one venue. The club grew from strength to strength, keeping the game alive in the Atteridgeville and Saulsville communities. The club has produced seasoned players, three of whom have received ministerial bursaries through Sports and Recreation South Africa. Atteridgeville Tennis Club presently has 6 coaches and 12 tennis technical officials – with one official, Mpho Makhoba, becoming the first female in Africa to be recognised as an ITF Silver Badge official.
Speaking at the launch, Richard Glover, CEO of TSA, said: “Atteridgeville has proven to be a successful breeding ground of tennis players, officials and administrators and ASTA has over the years contributed enormously to the development of the game in the community. The awarding of this Growthpoint Development Centre to Atteridgeville is well-deserved and will assist the talented pool of players around the community to reach their dreams.”
The new Atteridgeville centre has both a grassroots and a junior high performance focus – more specifically:
• To integrate with and provide support to existing tennis development initiatives in Tshwane.
• To grow the sport in target schools in the surrounding area.
• To act as a platform for junior talent identification and junior talent development.
Norbert Sasse, the Group CEO of Growthpoint Properties concluded: “We wanted to sponsor a sport where we could invest at grassroots level and we are delighted to see that our partnership with Tennis South Africa is starting to make an impact. Our intention is to make a lasting difference to the sport of tennis in the country by creating new opportunities for children and adults from all backgrounds to learn, compete and excel. The Growthpoint Development Centres are intended to give tennis players – young and old – space to thrive.”
The Atteridgeville centre has been made possible, thanks to support from Growthpoint Properties, Dunlop Sport, the National Lotteries Commission, the City of Tshwane and the Department of Sport and Recreation.