KZN South Coast set to host national seniors’ tennis championship in December

Showcasing itself as a top sporting destination, the KZN South Coast has been chosen as the venue for this year’s local TSA (Tennis South Africa) Seniors Tour, a national tennis contest, open for and hopefully drawing international participants 30 years and older, taking place from Thursday, 10 to Sunday, 13 December. The tour – which is a qualifier for the World Championships – is being hosted by Tennis South Africa (TSA), KZN Tennis, Ugu Tennis Association (UTA) at Umtentweni, Uvongo, Douglas Mitchell, and Southbroom tennis clubs.

“We are so delighted to be one of the locations hosting this year’s prestigious National Seniors Tour,” said CEO of Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT), Phelisa Mangcu. “The KZN South Coast’s many top-quality sporting facilities form part of our destination offerings, and we are excited to attract some national players – whom have already entered – and, hopefully, some international players.

“With so many sports’ competitions either postponed or cancelled in 2020, we anticipate many visitors will take advantage of the opportunity to support our local tennis stars at the event. There is free entry for all spectators, and all relevant Covid-19 protocols will be in place to ensure the safety of all attendees and participants.”

The ITF (International Tennis Federation) Seniors Tour has 27 500 registered players from 70 nations, competing in 502 tournaments worldwide and culminating in the annual World Championships. To qualify for one’s country, there is a ranking system with participants earning points for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place, as well as points for representing one’s province. The tour caters to three age categories:

• Young Seniors (35-45+);
• Seniors (50-60+); and
• Super Seniors (65-85+).

“UGU South Coast and Tennis South Africa (TSA) are promoting this tournament across all 14 ‘tennis provinces’ in South Africa, in an effort to grow the sport,” explained Ian Ackerman, president of UGU Tennis Association. “There are already about 18 000 senior players in the country, so we stand a good chance when competing internationally.”

Ackerman said entries are currently being registered with TSA with hope that some top contestants will make an appearance. Previous local players who’ve represented their country in the ITF Seniors Tour include Ralph Burles, Gules Salottolo, Raj Naganna, Sharon van der Schyff, Martyn Nagtegaal, Hannelie Nagtegaal, Zelda Smook, as well as Ackerman himself.

Another valuable aspect forming part of the competition are the development programmes whereby children from previously disadvantaged communities are invited to the four tennis clubs – Umtentweni, Douglas Mitchell, Uvongo and Southbroom. Here they are given the opportunity to learn tennis directly from professional coaches, with all relevant kit and equipment provided at the clubs’ cost.

“This is a really great opportunity for locals and visitors to witness the tennis talent within South Africa, and there are also entries available for first-time seniors looking to compete,” said Ackerman.

Entries

First-time seniors’ tournament players cost is R250 with entry deadline on Thursday, 26 November. To enter, contact Sharon van der Schyff at seniors@tennissa.co.za or call 083 263 1398.

Sponsorship

Anyone wanting to come on board as a sponsor for the event management costs and prizes can contact Ian Ackerman on 072 297 7878 or email ianrackerman@yahoo.com.

Outside of the ITF Seniors Tour, The KZN South Coast has hosted several top sports’ events in the past, including:

• South Coast MTB Series
• KAP sani2c
• Joberg2c
• Senior Women’s Golf Nationals

To find out more about the KZN South Coast, simply download the free ‘Explore KZN South Coast’ app or visit www.visitkznsouthcoast.co.za. You can also follow the KZN South Coast on social media – ‘South Coast Tourism’ on Facebook and YouTube, or @infosouthcoast on Twitter and Instagram.

High resolution images are available upon request.
(Images: Supplied by USCT)

Ian Ackerman, Jean Hubert, Hein de Ridder, Martin Read in Croatia.

Caminna Borda Spain – World Champion.

Development Day at Uvongo.

About Ugu South Coast Tourism
Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT) is the official destination management organisation of the Ugu District Municipality in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN), South Africa. The Ugu District comprises four local municipalities that include Umdoni, Umzumbe, Umuziwabantu and Ray Nkonyeni. USCT’s mandate is to grow tourism within the KZN South Coast. This involves implementing marketing and development initiatives that are aimed at showcasing the diverse offerings and experiences of the South Coast as tourist destination. A board of directors oversees USCT, headed by CEO, Phelisa Mangcu.

About KZN South Coast
Known as the ‘Paradise of the Zulu Kingdom’, the KZN South Coast stretches 120 kilometres from Scottburgh to Port Edward and inland to Harding. Here, the spirit of adventure can be discovered among the many cultural experiences, as well as the 35 nature trails and 58 beaches, ideal for activities like river rafting, abseiling, suspension bridges, paintball, surfing, SUP, canoeing, beach horse rides, shark cage diving and free diving. Nicknamed ‘The Golf Coast’, there are 11 golf courses on the KZN South Coast ranging in difficulty, with endless hiking, mountain biking and 4×4 trails for more rugged excursions. Promoting sustainability, the KZN South Coast has a growing agri-tourism sector that offers world-class produce and hosts tours and excursions. The region boasts a number of permanently managed Blue Flag beaches, and is home to some of the world’s top diving sites, Aliwal Shoal and Protea Banks. The originality continues with the annual Sardine Run, coined the #GreatestShoalonEarth, which is the largest biomass migration on earth and a marvel to witness. The region’s many nature reserves are inhabited by indigenous bird and wildlife, and it holds the title for ‘smallest desert on earth’, The Red Desert in Port Edward. The KZN South Coast is a fast-emerging MICE destination which also plays host to a number of high-profile events including the The Bike Fest, Uvukile Gospel Festival, Ugu Jazz, Ugu Film Festival and the South Coast Fever MTB & Trail Run Series.

Issued on behalf of:
Ugu South Coast Tourism (USCT)

Disseminated by:
Olivia Jones Communications

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