Ruan Roelofse and Raven Klaasen ion action during a recent Davis Cup match. Photo: Deryck Foster/BackpagePix
JOHANNESBURG - South African tennis development will receive a boost after Growthpoint was revealed as the national federation’s headline sponsor.

The initial, two-year sponsorship, will focus on tennis development, club tennis and junior tennis, Tennis South Africa's (TSA) chief executive, Richard Glover, announced on Mmonday.

“Their (Growthpoint) backing is a massive endorsement of the new positive energy flowing through our federation,” Glover said.

“Growthpoint understands that for a sport to thrive, investment is first needed in the foundations - hence their focus on development, clubs and juniors.

“With Growthpoint’s support, the sleeping giant that is tennis in South Africa is starting to stir.”

The cash injection from the property group would fund, among others, TSA’s new transformation and development plan. This includes the introduction of three new centres of development excellence and the creation of a national development squad.

Growthpoint will have naming rights to the TSA junior tournaments and the new National Club Championships.

The National Club Championships will consist of 14 regional events across the country and a national grand final based on a doubles tennis format for men and women.

Glover said although Growthpoint was the mainline sponsor, it was not an exclusive agreement, allowing other corporates to partner with TSA.

“Growthpoint are happy for us to bring in other sponsors, so we’ve got another sponsor in the pipeline from a high-performance tennis perspective,” Glover said.

“High-performance is a big priority for us and we are really looking at tennis from three aspects: Interest, high-performance and participation.”

Glover said TSA were making progress on the elite side of the sport, where they were in the early stages of planning for a national tennis centre.

He said the money would be allocated to tennis development, junior tennis, and the club tournament, while some funds would be used for administrative use.

“It is exciting because it means we can now invest in our foundation and now we can start focusing on the sexier stuff, like bringing international tennis to South Africa,” Glover said.

“This is now our fifth sponsor we’ve brought in since the start of (the year) and this is by far the biggest.

“It is good in these tough times where a lot of people are struggling find sponsors.”

The Star

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