South Africa's Kevin Anderson in action during his men's singles quarter-final match against Serbia's Dusan Lajovic at the Mutua Madrid Open, Spain. Photo: Mariscal/EPA

JOHANNESBURG – Providing aspiring coaches with the necessary tools and know-how, Tennis SA (TSA) hopes to fast-track the development of future stars after announcing BNP Paribas as their latest sponsors.

The global financial institution was yesterday named title sponsor of TSA's coaching mentorship programme. The association said the pilot initiative will look at widening the demographics of registered coaches in South Africa to create more opportunities for both black and female coaches.

The main objective, according to TSA, is to provide support to coaches who have undertaken courses before but have not been able to etch out a sustainable career for themselves.

The programme will also look to improve gender parity among coaches in the country given that only 30% of licensed coaches are female.

“The programme has a strong female empowerment focus where 44 percent of the coaches in year one are black females and we expect to reach at least a 50:50 gender balance in our coaching demographic in 2019,” TSA development manager Mpho Makhoba said.

The first year of intake will focus on the development of 45 coaches across South Africa with TSA aiming to extend the programme to 90 coaches in 2019. Those 45 coaches will receive sponsorship of their 2018/19 TSA coach registration fees, TSA coaching course fees, access to ‘Continuous Professional Development’ coaching workshops.

They will also receive training in business administration and computer skills, first aid and child protection.

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“TSA believes the future growth of tennis in the country begins and ends with the provision of quality coaching to all communities,” TSA chief executive Richard Glover said. “The coaching mentorship programme is a key initiative to deliver on this ambition.

“We would like to thank BNP Paribas for the belief they have shown in our vision, as well as their commitment to helping grow our sport locally.”

The federation has made serious strides forward since Glover’s appointment in 2016 given that BNP Paribas was SA’s ninth sponsorship announcement, with the majority of the agreements taking on a strong development theme.

“We’ve been quite deliberate in terms of how we attract sponsorships, so we’ve had some success in that process,” Glover said.

He added that investing in coaching was about creating ‘an ecosystem’ which allowed the sport to grow and evolve.

The Star

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