PMB girls excel in tennis

2012-10-30 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Midlands girls’ tennis leagues have come to a close after an extremely competitive year in which Pietermaritzburg Girls’ High School (GHS) and The Wykeham Collegiate (TWC) have been the primary contenders for the winners’ podium on the termly league ladders.

In the first term, the 91-year-old Lyle League tennis trophy was won by GHS, whose regular first team players were Leigh-Anne van den Berg, Ellen King, Sarah Grenfell, Caitlyn Seegers, Melissa van Achterberg and Zandi Powell, while the Cousins and Risely leagues were won by the St Anne’s second and fourth teams, respectively.

In the third term, the Joy Watt U19A League, U19B, U19C and Emily Howard leagues were won by the TWC U19A, U19C, U19D and U15A teams respectively.

In honour of GHS deputy headmistress Val Fowler’s long-standing service to schools’ tennis in the KZN Midlands, which has had a ripple effect on SA tennis in a broader sense, the schools agreed to name one of the tennis leagues after her. The schools will compete for this trophy in the first term along with the Lyle, Cousins and Risely trophies.

“Val has been an extremely valuable asset to girls’ tennis over the years,” TWC tennis coach Binks Robertson told The Witness yesterday. “She has run trials, leagues and tournaments, and is often seen supporting the players on the sidelines of the courts.

“We are privileged to have people in our city that continue to keep this sport active. Amongst our top coaches that continue to groom our young players in the KZN Inland province is Mr Hilary Greenwood, who ensures that tennis remains an attractive, vibrant sport for our schoolchildren.”

Aside from the schools’ tennis, Robertson said Greenwood’s Braaiketts tennis squad and the annual tournaments that he organises and runs is a service which affords the region’s top young players the opportunity to play regular matches over the weekends.

“Ultimately, this also enables our school and provincial players, plus our teams, to excel on a wider scale,” said Robertson. “Our U15 and U19 regional teams won the inter-regional tournament held in Pietermaritzburg earlier this year, and the girls chosen to represent KwaZulu-Natal at the interprovincial tournament in Pretoria performed with distinction.”

The KZN U19A team took first place out of 15 provincial teams, while the U19B team came 11th. The U15A team did not lose a match but ended second on points, and the U15B team finished eighth.

Zandi Powell of GHS was chosen to represent the South African team.

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