Tennis is the latest big(ish) federation to have signalled its commitment to transformation to government.
Following the release of the Sport Ministry’s latest Transformation Barometer report on Tuesday, Tennis South Africa (TSA) announced they had now also signed a memorandum of agreement with the department and Sascoc.
It’s pretty much the same agreement that rugby, cricket, netball, soccer and athletics has with government.
“TSA is excited to finalise this agreement. It provides us with a great opportunity to work with government and Sascoc to grow our sport,” said Richard Glover, TSA’s chief executive.
TSA is actually so serious about the issue that they placed their draft transformation strategy online for public comment.
It’s an interesting exercise.
There are no bold promises of increasing participation among the black population or cliches.
Instead, TSA don’t shy away from the harsh realities of a sport many still consider elitist.
Tennis is a very technical sport when players start out.
As a result, the need for specialised coaching is very important and arguably a bigger priority for TSA than recruiting new players to the sport.
TSA’s biggest two objectives then in what it calls its “development pathway off the court” is access to equipment and infrastructure as well as removing barriers of entry for coaches.
In other words, the transformation process can only start if a kid has a racket and a court to play on as well newly qualified coaches to introduce them to the game.
Only really after that can the “general” transformation aspects like quotas/targets and high performance management commence.
“The new TSA plan for transformation and development is practical and achievable and has been very well received by a variety of stakeholders,” said Glover.
“We are excited to start rolling it out in the coming months. We see this new plan as an exciting opportunity to ensure the sustainability of tennis in our country.”