US coach surprises tennis clubs with clinics

Tim Burke, tennis coach from the USA, Sibongile Mlotywa, the coach for Khayelitsha Tennis Club, and players during at False Bay College, on Monday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko
Tim Burke, tennis coach from the USA, Sibongile Mlotywa, the coach for Khayelitsha Tennis Club, and players during at False Bay College, on Monday. PHOTO: Mbongiseni Maseko

It was smiles all around when a renowned tennis coach from the United States of America visited a Khayelitsha tennis team to share his skills during a coaching clinic on Monday.

Tim Burke, 66, the owner of Tim Burke Tennis College, conducted coaching clinics where he shared his experience with youngsters from the Khayelitsha Tennis Club at False Bay College.

Burke said he it was his second visit to the city since 2012, when he attended a wedding of the daughter of an old friend, two weeks ago, and he decided to stay put to conduct coaching clinics in different areas.

He has coached young stars in areas like Langa, Gugulethu, Mitchells Plain, Athlone for the past two weeks.

Burke also did the coaching clinics when he toured the country in 2012.

“I like sharing my skills with young players. I believe that also helps their coaches as they also learn new things which they will use when I am gone. I have been doing voluntary work all over the world where I shared my skills with tennis players. I volunteer my work to anyone who needs an extra help. I also brought some tennis equipment which I have donated to different clubs,” Burke said.

He started playing tennis at the age of 16 years and has never looked back, he said.

He said he has since coached in countries like Nigeria on the African continent.

Khayelitsha Tennis Club coach Sibongile Mlotywa said they were happy with the visit by Burke.

“We are very excited, because players need to get different skills from someone else so that they will improve their game.

His visit will surely motivate them. We have a challenge in the area, which is informed by the history of our country, of battling to attract senior players in the area. We also do not have facilities for tennis hence we use this one, which belongs to the college. Most people do not even know that there is a tennis club here,” Mlotywa said.

Mlotywa said Burke also conducted training for coaches in Rondebosch on Saturday.

The club plays under the Western Province Tennis League.

They finished in position five, out of nine teams in their category in the Winter League and they are now preparing for the Summer League, which starts in September.

The team was formed in 1998 and it currently has 11 players.

They hold practise sessions at the college from Monday to Thursday from 4pm and from 9am to 11am on Saturdays.

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