NWU and TSA partner for South Africa’s first-ever multi-surface facility
The North-West University (NWU) is about to become a one-stop shop for all tennis players and enthusiasts. The university is in the development stage of upgrading its tennis facilities at the High Performance Institute in Potchefstroom with new multi-surface clay, grass and hard courts.
There are only two privately owned clay courts in South Africa, and a number of players do not have access to them. After completion, the institute will be the only facility in the country to have five clay courts, two grass courts and 10 hard courts that will be accessible to national and international tennis players.
According to Sheldon Rostron, NWU sports manager, a number of tournaments in Africa are played on clay courts, and the NWU has realised the importance of having these facilities for its students and external tennis players.
This project, which is a major infrastructure investment, will be funded by the university. The upgrade will commence shortly and is expected to be completed in June this year.
Partnering with Tennis South Africa
On 26 February the NWU, Riaan Venter Tennis Academy and Tennis South Africa (TSA) launched the tennis facility development project. The Riaan Venter Tennis Academy, together with the NWU, currently hosts several International Tennis Federation junior tournaments. As part of the new project the university has partnered with TSA, and will be providing them with access to the courts to train their players. TSA will also host its clay-court Junior Masters tournaments, junior national squad clay-court training camps and specialist TSA-accredited clay-court coaching courses for registered coaches at the new facility.
“For decades the lack of clay courts in South Africa has been spoken about as a critical weakness in our tennis. Today’s announcement is a significant step towards addressing that issue. Our best young players will now be able to train and play regularly on the surface,” said TSA chief executive Richard Glover.
“We would like to thank the NWU for the confidence they are placing in tennis in South Africa with this significant infrastructure investment. We have built up an extremely positive working relationship with the university and look forward to collaborating to make this new facility a major hub for high-performance tennis in South Africa,” Richard concluded.
The NWU looks forward to reaping the benefits that the new facilities will bring.
In the back from left are Sheldon Rostron, NWU sports manager, Helene Botha, NWU manager for women's sports, Richard Glover, chief executive of Tennis SA and Riaan Venter, founder of Riaan Venter Tennis Academy.
Seated in front are Prof Rikus Fick, NWU director for student life in Potchefstroom, Gavin Crookes, president of Tennis SA, Prof Daryl Balia, NWU deputy-vice chancellor in Potchefstroom and Kgothatso Montjane, world number six wheelchair tennis player.