News & Results

January 2021
Chairman’s Report 2020

Chairman’s Report 2020

Without doubt the past year was a year to forget due to the upheaval of our lives as we tried to battle this awful pandemic. In a way this report is possibly the hardest any chairman has had to deliver as we were restrained in all of our activities.

To any of our members who have suffered a loss due to the pandemic I extend our heartfelt sympathies. There have been so many casualties to this pandemic that most of us, if not all, have seen the suffering close to hand.

From a membership point of view we had ten resignations, some from a financial point of view and some who no longer play tennis. Plus, sad to report that three members passed away. We only attracted four new members so our membership base dropped by eight. It has proved difficult to attract the younger potential members. A number of invitations were sent out over the passed two years with hardly any success. In most cases I did not even get a reply to the invitation sad to report.

It was supposed to be a year to remember with the celebration of our 70th anniversary with the advent of the Legends event at Sun City. Eight teams were scheduled to compete for the inaugural Legends trophy but we were forced to postpone the event for 12 months. As you can imagine a huge amount of work has to go into organizing such an event and I wish to place on record my sincere thanks and appreciation for the time and energies that both Leonie Grondel and Lorna  Krog put into the event.  Without such dedication an event such as this will never come to fruition and it is such a disappointment to us all that we were forced to postpone through no fault of our own.

I can now add that sadly after many conversations, discussions, heart rendering moments, we have cancelled the event as under the present circumstances there was no way that we could see that the event could go ahead firstly from a safety point of view and secondly whether we would get the support of overseas countries to make the event viable. Hopefully sometime in the future we can resurrect this wonderful project.

Sadly, with the country in lock down from the end of March to mid September, all our activities came to a halt. Our two development programmes were mothballed for effectively six months and of course all tennis activities like tournaments and social play, came to grinding halt.

We managed to recommence Vosloorus in mid September under strict terms and conditions, but I am pleased to say that once we were up and running we did not suffer significant loss of numbers and we were still getting 100 children a week at training. Back tracking slightly, in February the Vosloorus children had a friendly match against an academy run by Janet Jooste in Alberton and I am pleased to say that we won both the boys and girls events. It is good for the children from the Township to be able to mix socially with other race groups as this, to me, is all part of their tennis education.

Towards the end of the year Gauteng East Tennis Association held three one day tournaments for those players not quite up to the standard whereby they can enter the TSA sanctioned events. We were able to blood some of the children into tournament play and I pay tribute to the Association and, in particular to Desiree Wilson, for her commitment to junior tennis in the province. With people like her tennis is in excellent hands to ensure the growth of our juniors and future tournament players. Two of the Vosloorus children were chosen for the Gauteng East schools inter provincial which unfortunately was not held and jumping to this year, five of the Vosloorus children were invited to attend trials for 2021.

The Kenton development program continues to grow and although they were only able to resume coaching well into October, the numbers are pleasing. They also have had additional training and coaching.

Another victim of the pandemic was the finals of the Rod Laver World Wide junior challenge. This was supposed to take place in California, and these have been rescheduled for November this year. The IC have agreed that those players who were in the team that qualified would be eligible to compete this year notwithstanding that that technically fall outside the under 16 age limit. I am pleased to see this change in the rule which means that those players who helped South Africa qualify will be able to achieve what will be a wonderful once in a lifetime experience. It is anticipated that Rod Laver himself will attend the finals as he lives close by to the venue.

Again, sad to report our annual social days in both Cape Town and Johannesburg could not be held as it appeared that people were still cautious in attending functions and events in groups, but hopefully the climate will be better to reinstate these two wonderful days this year and we would like to add a day for a social in Pretoria to accommodate those members living there.

The IC Annual General Meeting, usually held at Roehampton on the middle Sunday of Wimbledon did not take place there, but a Zoom AGM was held on the usual day. Likewise, the Tennis SA AGM was also conducted as a Zoom meeting and I was again invited to attend as an observer. I continue to foster a relationship with TSA, but like all things 2020 our contact was more telephonic than personal, but I wish to thank both Gavin Crookes and Richard Glover for their continual interest in our progress. Both TSA and IC are striving for similar objectives in tennis albeit in different ways, but there are many areas that a good working relationship between the two parties is beneficial to the sport as a whole.

Although as a committee we did not meet as often as usual, I was not allowed to rest completely, and I thank them for their continual prompting and hope that we will be more productive this coming year.

To say that it has been a frustrating year is an understatement, but we did manage to get the two development programmes back on track with success at tournaments in some cases. The progress being made at both is all due to the dedication to the coaches involved to whom I extend my sincere thanks.

I take this opportunity to wish you all the very best of health and sincerely hope that 2021 will be a more fruitful and positive year than the last.