Chairperson of the Junior Tennis Committee of the Namibia Tennis Association (NTA), Santie van der Walt, has expressed satisfaction with the growth of tennis in the country after the successful hosting of two well-attended tournaments at Swakopmund and Windhoek recently. Speaking to New Era Sport yesterday, Van der Walt said tennis in Namibia has over the past years grown and many people are now starting to take tennis seriously as a career, especially the youth.
The chairperson referred to the two recent events held at Swakopmund and Windhoek, which attracted well over 60 players who participated in 120 matches, saying the sport is becoming popular among Namibians.
“I am happy with the way tennis has grown over the last couple of years. Tennis is getting more popular and strong in the country, especially seeing that the youth are getting more involved in the sport. We had various tournaments this year. The first one was a two-day event at Swakopmund, which saw over 60 players participate and we also had the Sanlam Junior ATP tournament that also had a good attendance of 91 players who took part in 160 matches at four different venues – and I can tell you that the sport is becoming popular and growing,” said Van der Walt.
She added that the NTA will host Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP) tournaments throughout the year, with three scheduled for the coast and six tournaments earmarked for Windhoek, where national players will be selected.
The NTA aims to give players a platform to reach their full potential regardless of possible setbacks. They are also passionate about the development of tennis in Namibia as a competitive and professional sport, she emphasised.
Van der Walt said that so far they have four teams coming – from Walvis Bay, Swakopmund, Okahandja and Windhoek – and that their mission is to spread their wings to all four corners of the country to popularise the sport, but lack of sports facilities and finances haven’t been permitting many a time.