The regionals of the first ever BNP Paribas RCS Rising Star Tennis tournament, in partnership with Tennis South Africa (TSA), were held on Saturday 7 September at the Hermanus Sports Club.
The regions that participated in the first of the three stages were the Overberg, Cape Winelands, Cape Metro, Eden and the West Coast. In the Overberg, five schools participated – Hermanus Primary, Bredasdorp Primary, Rûens Kollege, De Villiers Graaff Primary and Overberg Primary.
All of the teams played extremely well, but it was the Hermanus Primary first team girls and the Hermanus Primary first team boys that were selected to go to the second stage (provincials) of the tournament. Here they will compete with the top learners from the other four regions to determine which two teams will represent the Western Cape in the third stage (nationals) of the tournament, which will take place in 2020.
The event aims to increase youth participation in tennis in South Africa, as well as to provide children with access to tennis. It will involve hundreds of schools (including schools in historically disadvantaged communities) across the country over seven months.
ATP (Association of Tennis Professionals) star, Kevin Anderson, is the official ambassador of this initiative. Kevin has long had a desire to further develop tennis in South Africa, making it accessible to all. BNP Paribas and RCS are also going to be sponsoring the nationals, which just deepens their existing support of tennis in South Africa.