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Tennis SA launches National Primary School Championships

The championships were the first of its kind on the continent and would see teams consist of four players and a coach/manager.

South Africa's Kevin Anderson celebrates after beating Belgium's Dominic Thiem 6-3, 7-6 in their singles round robin match on day one of the ATP World Tour Finals tennis tournament at the O2 Arena in London on 11 November 2018.  Picture: AFP

JOHANNESBURG - Tennis South Africa have announced a partnership with RSC and BNP Paribas to launch a National Primary School Championships in an effort to grow the game at a grassroots level.

The championships were the first of its kind on the continent and would see teams consist of four players and a coach/manager.

They would consist of three stages with the first stage consisting of 14 regional finals to determine the winners and runners up in each region, who would then advance to stage 2.

Four provincial play-offs would be held in stage 2 to determine the national finalists. Teams would be allocated to each play-off based on geographical location and would be joined by selected wild card teams from historically disadvantaged communities.

The winner and runner up of each play-off would advance to the national final.

Stage 3 would be the final stage consisting of eight teams and two wild card teams for historically disadvantaged backgrounds.

Tennis South Africa CEO Richard Glover said the partnership has been a year in the making.

“We want to make the tournament as accessible as possible for schools that only have four or five children playing the game. The response to this from schools has been immense and I’m predicting hundreds to get involved and to benefit from this program,” he said.

South African tennis star Kevin Anderson was also announced as the official ambassador for the championship.

Glover said Anderson was really excited about being part of the project.

“He really wants to give back to South African tennis and use his profile on the international stage to grow tennis and the participation in the game across the country.”

The tournament was set to get under way in August.

Timeline

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