In a drive to stimulate and increase maximum youth participation in tennis in the country, Global banking institution BNP Paribas and its wholly owned consumer finance business RCS have joined forces with Tennis South Africa.
This partnership will see the two international institutions bankrolling a national primary school tennis championship that will involve hundreds of schools across the country, over 7 months.
This ground breaking announcement was recently made by Tennis South Africa at the Arthur Ashe Tennis court in Central Western Jabavu, Soweto.
Furthermore, South African international tennis star Kevin Anderson was revealed as the official ambassador of this initiative.
He is on record arguing that he has always been extremely passionate about giving back to the game at home.
“I strongly believe developing future South African Tennis stars needs to begin with a grass roots revolution. Together with BNP Paribas, RCS and Tennis South Africa, I want to achieve just that, as every child at primary school level should have the opportunity to play and fall in love with tennis. This is a fantastic initiative to increase the profile and legacy of the sport in South Africa”
Under the banner ‘Rising star Tennis’ This countrywide initiative is tailor made to provide tennis access to children, targeting hundreds of primary schools across the country, including schools in historically disadvantaged communities in South Africa.
Tennis South Africa President Gavin Crookes told the packed audience that school tennis and participation is key foundation of the sport.
According to Richard Glover, CEO of Tennis South Africa, the seven-month competition in 14 tennis districts, and 9 provinces across the country, which commences in August, will set out to nurture tennis, and widen its participation and appeal, in order to diversify the sport and enrich the South Africa’s junior talent pool.
Vikas Khandelwal, CEO of BNP Paribas South Africa said he was proud to have Anderson onboard.
“His support and participation as official ambassador will add more impact, excitement and legacy to the initiative.
Khadelwal also highlighted that his organization has supported tennis for more than 45 years.
““In South Africa, we hope that through this partnership we can act as a catalyst for grass roots tennis and to help grow participation amongst the youth of the country, particularly in schools in disadvantaged areas to create a new legacy for the sport,” he said.
Regan Adams, CEO of RCS, told the audience that growing tennis at a grassroots level in South Africa will enable boys and girls from all communities to gain access to the sport and deepen the talent pool like never before.
“Sport like tennis enables people to rise above their circumstances and achieve their full potential. By creating more playing opportunities where they are needed the most, and by taking tennis to the people through this partnership, the initiative exemplifies our philosophy to be positive agents of change.”
Dr Ntombi Khumalo, Acting MMC for Community Development in the City of Joburg, told this publication that this was a great day in the history of sports.
“Public, private partnership provide redress to poor development .”
DID YOU KNOW?
BNP Paribas and RCS are part of a growing portfolio of TSA sponsors that also includes Growthpoint Properties, KIA Motors, Wiphold, Dunlop and Lotto Sport Italia.