Rising star tennis returns for another exciting season

tennis11 March 2024 10:30
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Mandie Claasen © Supplied

Already established as one of the most successful development sports programmes in the country, Tennis South Africa (TSA) has confirmed that the RCS Rising Star Tennis series will return for its fifth season in 2024.

Last year's fourth season saw a 12 per cent increase in participation in the primary school and wheelchair tennis categories, and this year's campaign promises even more growth as Rising Star Tennis continues to provide opportunities for youth players across the nation.

"We are thrilled to announce another exciting edition of RCS Rising Star Tennis, which has become a cornerstone of tennis development in South Africa," said Tennis South Africa (TSA) president Gavin Crookes.

"The last four seasons have seen this nationwide initiative going from strength to strength, and we are glad to be able to continue building on the success we have already seen in this programme since it was launched. We are very fortunate to have the continued backing of the RCS Group".

Regan Adams, CEO of RCS, says ‘’ we are honoured to continue our longstanding support for the RCS Rising Star Tennis series. As we celebrate our 25th anniversary, we reflect on our belief that South Africa should be a better place because RCS is in it. We believe in the power of sports to transform lives and are proud to be part of this initiative that provides opportunities for youth across South Africa."

Year five of the grassroots series, which fittingly coincides with the 25th anniversary of sponsors the RCS Group, will include three important phases.

Phase one will see TSA and Rising Star Tennis partnering with the International Tennis Federation (ITF) and its Junior Tennis Initiative (JTI) to offer support for players in rural and township communities. This initiative will provide coaching, training and tennis development for children, teachers and schools.

Through its Schools Tennis Initiative, Performance Tennis Initiative and Equipment Distribution Programme, the ITF provides free equipment, such as mini-tennis rackets, tennis balls and strings, and the local youth will benefit from the value of these global programmes.

Following activations around South Africa during the activation phase of the Rising Star Tennis series, the campaign will move on to the highly anticipated second phase which features district and provincial competitions in all nine provinces.

The third and final phase will see the top performing schools of the season turning out at the national finals in October.