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SPORT AND RECREATION PORTFOLIO COMMITTEE
4 August 2005
SOUTH AFRICAN TENNIS ASSOCIATION: BRIEFING
Chairperson: Mr B Khompela
Documents handed out:
South African Tennis Association (TASA) PowerPoint Presentation
The Committee heard a briefing by SATA which had undertaken development programmes to ensure that tennis was promoted throughout the country. SATA reported that it had been facing challenges related to funding and dire shortage of coaches for coaching.
The Committee indicated that government had identified tennis as a priority sport to be funded until it reaches a sustainability stage. Members were concerned that there was inadequate use and maintenance of existing tennis facilities. They asked about the expansion of SATA's development programme to areas outside metropolitan areas and encouraged SATA to apply for national lottery funding to make it the priority sporting code it should be.
The Chairperson said that SATA should utilise the expertise of experienced players like Wayne Ferreira as a role model for children. He urged SATA to use the Committee as ambassadors for sporting codes such as tennis, because the code was among those identified as one of the priority sporting codes by the Government. Tennis had been identified as one of the priority sporting codes, that thus had to be appropriately funded so that there are emerging tennis champions from the communities where the development was done.
Mr Ian Smith reported to the Committee on the achievements of SATA, a Section 21 Company (see document). He then discussed the challenges faced by the Association, such as inadequate funding as sponsors had been concentrating on the more popular sporting codes and that there was a shortage of qualified coaches and a lack of playing facilities in townships and villages. Those areas that had facilities were either not maintained properly or left to be vandalised. The Association had undertaken development programmes, that would serve as pilot projects to be rolled out countrywide later.
Mr R Bhoola (MF) asked about the plans of SATA in expanding the concept of Mini Tennis to other areas.
Mr K Saloojee (ANC) enquired why the Association had not been making use of existing facilities, which were standing idle. He cited an example of tennis courts, swimming pool and other sporting facilities that were situated in Bez Valley next to Athlone Boys High School in Johannesburg. He suggested that local government authorities should assume the responsibility for maintaining those facilities
Mr J Koorts concurred with Mr Saloojee that local authorities should be responsible for the maintenance of existing facilities.
Mr M Dikgagcwi (ANC) asked why the tennis association had fifteen 'provinces' instead of the standard nine provinces. He asked for the reason that Wheelchair Tennis had not been established in provinces other than KwaZulu-Natal and was the SATA not aligned to United Schools Sports Association South Africa.
Mr J Koorts, President of SATA, replied that the Mini Tennis programme had been introduced to all provinces. Western Province was cited as an example. The reason that there were fifteen 'provinces' was in order to reach more people. Most people who ran the provincial offices were volunteers with the exception of Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. USSASA would no longer be responsible for tennis development in schools, and SATA would take over that role.
Mr M Dikgagcwi asked about the kind of development that had been happening outside the metropolitan areas.
Mr J Koorts replied that the Association had identified sustainable development programmes, for an example in Zwelitsha in the Eastern Cape. Those programmes would be spread out throughout the country once they had proved to be sustainable.
The Chairperson noted that most local authorities were not able to generate revenue, some of them could not even afford to pay their workforce. He felt that those municipalities should be given a helping hand until they were sustainable.
Ms B Rorene, SATA Board Member, felt that schools should be centres of activity where communities could meet coaches and children could utilise facilities.
Mr Saloojee cited the example of Spain, which had used lottery money to enhance the neglected sporting codes. He suggested the same for SATA.
Mr Lethuka, Vice President of SATA, highlighted the unifying role played by sports in South and other lesser visible benefits for the nation, such as improved health and the reduction of chronic diseases. The more people who played sports, the less money would be used for health care.
The Chairperson said that a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) had been signed between the Department of Education and the Department of Sport and Recreation. The MOU had to include the use of school sporting facilities by the adjoining communities. Physical Education was being revived by the Department of Education and the Department of Sport. He then asked whether the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) accredited tennis coach qualifications or not. He enquired about the relationship between High Performance Centres and other sporting codes. Were the High Performance Centres catering for other codes or were they only dealing with tennis.
Mr Koorts replied that High Performance Centres catered for large number of sporting codes. Coaches were accredited and registered with the SAQA and the respective Sector Education and Training Authority (SETA).
Mr Lethuka said that Recognition of Prior Learning was part of the accreditation process.
The Chairperson said that accreditation was very good thing and it was one of government priorities. The Committee was satisfied with the development goals of SATA. He mentioned that the Department was involved in the Arthur Ashe sports initiative in Soweto. If SATA experienced problems with accessing funds from the National Lottery, they should not hesitate to contact the Committee.
The meeting was adjourned.
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