Richard Glover, TSA’s chief executive, hopes the matter will be regarded as urgent.
Richard Glover, TSA’s chief executive, hopes the matter will be regarded as urgent.

Tennis South Africa: The ball is in government’s court

By Herman Gibbs Time of article published May 20, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - The ball is firmly in the government’s court after Tennis South Africa (TSA) formally presented the Sports, Arts and Culture minister and the National Command Council with its blueprint for the resumption of the game in the country.

Richard Glover, TSA’s chief executive, hopes the matter will be regarded as urgent.

“There is a lot of correspondence and documentation that these parties need to review,” said Glover. “We want this (an outcome) to be as urgent as possible because it is in no one’s best interest for the matter to drag on and on. We want these parties to review things thoroughly and comprehensively.”

There is an air of optimism in the ranks of national tennis as the government has served notice that it plans to announce relief measures which will ease some of the lockdown restrictions.

“The government is very much in listening mode at the moment,” said Glover. They are accessible and listening to tennis and other sports too. They are listening with an open ear.

“They are in the process of formulating policy and I think they are right to be cautious. There’s no rulebook for managing Covid-19 in the wider context but there is a lot of international research available now and which we have included in our proposal.

“The research shows that there is a really low risk of playing tennis or golf.

“Realistically in terms of the current Covid-19 situation, it is not possible to host tournaments, especially international events because it attracts people from all other the world.”

In the document, TSA argues that there is a good case for the resumption of tennis for recreation, training, and coaching. It points out that, with the correct health and safety processes in place, there are very low risks, even under level 4 of the lockdown.

Glover said there are about 700 000 players in South Africa, and the majority fall in the recreational category.


@Herman_Gibbs

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