Athlone Tennis Club is on a mission to revive the sport in surrounding communities. The club, which was established in 2013, play in the junior and senior divisions of the Western Province tennis league, but face numerous challenges to keep its head above water, according to club captain Siraaj Essack. “We are doing well in the circumstances and were promoted to a higher division three times in four seasons. Currently we are playing in the seventh league of the association. Most of our players only took up the game at senior level, but they have shown that they can hold their own in the league,” he says.The club is currently without a home ground and members play their games at the Thornton campus of the College of Cape Town which offered them the use of their two tennis courts. “We are forced to practise and play away from the Athlone area as the tennis courts at the old Hewat College are unavailable and the one on the corner of Belgravia and Klipfontein roads has become a security risk after our cellphones got stolen out of our bags and one of our cars was broken into during our games,” says Essack. He says they want to go back to Athlone to play matches in order to revive the sport, but the members and the visiting clubs’ safety is important. The club is focused on its juniors and their development and regularly enter them into tournaments to improve their skills. “At the moment we only have two men’s teams competing in the league and we are trying to grow our numbers in the women’s team. However, we need more tennis courts to register extra teams which we don’t have. As a club we want to give the best to our players and would welcome the assistance of a sponsor to acquire proper equipment, including tennis balls which we have to purchase at R90 a can.” Training for seniors takes place on Thursdays from 16:30 to sunset and for juniors on Saturdays from 10:30 to noon. For more information contact Siraaj Essack on 084 608 8927.