School pumped up for tennis tournament

The Baikagetse Primary School’s tennis team is ready for the 2022 season of the BNP Paribas RCS Rising Star tennis program, says the school’s tennis program head, Dundee Radebe.

Speaking to the City Times, Radebe said he has seen a change in attitude from his players since Tennis South Africa (TSA) revamped their facility and donated training equipment.

“We have a team of four boys and four girls who will represent the school at the tournament. We are currently grooming younger players and have two players from each grade. This strategy will make succession easy when the Grade Sevens go to high school.

“As long as I’m here, these players will be part of a development program. That is the goal of grassroots development. As far as our preparation for Rising Star is concerned, we are ready, ”he said.

Tshwanelo Machaoa (8) wants to be a successful tennis player.

Radebe, whose love affair with tennis began in the mid-90s, started the tennis program at Baikagetse in 2004.
“The original tennis court was built around 2004. But we were already playing tennis. My first crop of players from this school are now teachers while others are already married. “

Radebe continued with his coaching duties until the school joined TSA’s Rising Star initiative in 2019.

“I was already aware of the deal between Tennis SA and BNP Paribas. Because I was already coaching at the school and we had the players with the desire to play, I decided to register the school. We came sixth against schools with better resources. “

The program was suspended in 2020 due to Covid-19. Last year after Covid regulations were eased, the school entered again.

Grade 3 learner Tshepo Mahogany (9) displays her great hand and eye coordination.

With new vigor and experience, Radebe led his players to a fourth place finish in the region. They were eliminated at the provincial phase of the tournament.

“Because more schools were added to the program, I was able to pick players from other schools in Daveyton. We had a strong squad that competed well, locally and in the region. “

Radebe had to start afresh with his team because most of his players from the last campaign were in high school. But, he is in high spirits after TSA announced that the program will be expanded to high schools.

“It pains me that my players are now in high school. But because of the program’s expansion, I will engage with other schools so that we build a strong team for the tournament. “

Baikagetse Primary School’s tennis coach, Dundee Radebe takes the players through their paces.

Ten-year-old Steven Chaenda thanked Radebe for being a great coach.

“I started playing tennis in 2020. The coach has taught us that winning is not the only goal. Understanding and mastering the basics of the sport and enjoying ourselves is also important. “

Tshwarelo Mochaoa (8), says his goal is to compete at the highest level.

“I was excited when the coach selected me to be part of the team. I enjoy coming here for practice. I want to be a successful player. “

Dundee Radebe has been involved in tennis since the mid-90s.

Radebe has urged parents to support their children as it is the only way to keep them motivated.

The tournament will begin with phase one district qualifiers in June and July.

Also Read: Rising Star schools tennis returns for third year

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