CENTURION, August 30, 2022 (Tennis SA Press Release)
With entries having closed for the BNP Paribas RCS Rising Star Tennis series, the 2022 campaign is set to involve a record number of teams from over 1 000 schools around the country.
The nationwide tennis development programme, which is being held for the third year, has attracted players and teams from 1 036 schools – a 29% increase in entries from last season.
In the inaugural series, 361 schools had participated, with 14% of them coming from historically disadvantaged areas, and last year 797 schools took part, including 35% from underprivileged areas.
Showcasing the growth of the series, the 2022 campaign will feature over 400 institutions from disadvantaged areas, making up 39% of the total entries.
Speaking about the competition’s ongoing development, Kieran Fahy, CEO of BNP Paribas Corporate and Investment Banking (CIB) South Africa, said: “We are very proud to witness the development and expansion of the Rising Star Tennis Series. It perfectly illustrates BNP Paribas’ longstanding support for tennis and enabling equal opportunities. For almost 50 years, BNP Paribas has supported tennis, with which it shares the values of fair play, reactivity, and performance.”
Again, catering for primary school, high school, and wheelchair tennis players this year, the BNP Paribas RCS Rising Star Tennis series aims to provide tennis access to children, targeting hundreds of schools as it continues to grow the sport of tennis through grassroots development.
Raising nationwide interest in the sport by taking tennis to the youth, the BNP Paribas and RCS Group sponsored initiative has also seen training and coaching clinics taking place around South Africa, with equipment being donated to schools in historically disadvantaged communities.
Regan Adams, CEO of RCS Group, the consumer finance arm of international banking group, BNP Paribas, commented: “At RCS, we focus on making an impact through healthy pursuits and we are proud to be a cornerstone of BNP Paribas’ global tennis sponsorship. We have been encouraged by the momentum that this grassroots series has gained and the impact it has had on the lives of countless youth from around the country since 2019. We are looking forward to an exciting tournament with the third edition of the series this year.”
Displaying the talent which has emerged from the annual series, the National Finals in all divisions will be played in Tshwane between 4-6 November.