South African tennis player Kevin Anderson was named official brand ambassador of the Rising Star Tennis initiative, a program targeted at increasing youth participation in tennis in South Africa through a national primary schools’ tennis challenge.
The ‘Rising Star Tennis’ initiative is a partnership between international banking institution BNP Paribas and their wholly-owned consumer finance subsidiary RCS, and Tennis South Africa (TSA).
The national primary schools’ tennis challenge was officially launched on Tuesday at the Arthur Ashe facility in Soweto and will begin in August.
The challenge will run for seven months in 14 tennis districts and 9 provinces across South Africa.
“The countrywide initiative aims to provide tennis access to children, targeting hundreds of primary schools across the country, including schools in historically disadvantaged communities in South Africa,” a statement by Tennis South Africa said.
World no. 11 Anderson, a two-time Grand Slam finalist, welcomed the initiative saying he is extremely passionate about giving back to the game at home.
“Together with BNP Paribas, RCS and Tennis South Africa, I want to achieve just that, as every child at primary school level should have the opportunity to play and fall in love with tennis. This is a fantastic initiative to increase the profile and legacy of the sport in South Africa, and I can’t wait to witness the discovery of some amazing tennis talent,” Anderson said in a video posted on his official Twitter account.
TSA CEO Richard Glover said the initiative will set out to nurture tennis and widen its participation and appeal to expand the sport and boost South Africa’s junior talent pool.
Aside from Anderson, South Africa’s other current notable tennis player is Raven Klaasen, 36, who specialises in doubles.