Streaming issues? Report here
Aubrey Masango 702 Gradient Aubrey Masango 702 Gradient
The Aubrey Masango Show
20:00 - 00:00
volume_up
volume_mute

The Aubrey Masango Show
20:00 - 00:00
Home
arrow_forward
Sport

#ExtraTime with Tennis SA CEO Richard Glover

21 May 2020 1:56 PM
Tags:
Tennis
ExtraTime
Richard Glover

The latest instalment of #ExtraTime sees EWN Sport catch up with Tennis South Africa CEO Richard Glover, to talk about the growth of the sport – and about working for Arsenal FC many years.

“I'm probably the worst tennis player in the world”, says Richard Glover, but what he lacks on the court, he certainly makes up for in experience, off it.

When Glover took over as TSA CEO in 2016, he came with a wealth of experience in the sports industry, having worked both locally and internationally.

“I actually studied journalism many, many years ago at Rhodes University. I wanted to be a sports journalist. Then I went on holiday to the UK for two weeks, and I came back 13 years later. So basically, my parents were horrified. I was there for 13 years after just going on holiday. I started doing sports journalism in the UK, but soon realized that I was a pretty average sports journalist, but I wanted to stay in sports. I gradually moved on to the business or commercial side of sports in the UK.”

Glover says he was very fortunate to work at Arsenal football club in the early 2000s. “I spent a number of years at Arsenal and it was right at the time when the club was moving from the old Highbury stadium to the new, brand spanking new Emirates Stadium,” Glover said.

The former Rhodes University student worked on the commercial side at the club for about five years before heading back to South Africa. Upon his return, Glover worked for Cricket South Africa and was involved in setting up a sports marketing agency called Frontiers Sport and Entertainment.

Glover says when the job opportunity with TSA came up, he wasn’t all that keen at the start but was soon convinced after doing some research.

“I think like a lot of South Africans, I had this sort of perception of tennis and I had this negative perception of it. But then it came up again and I looked at some of the data around tennis and I just thought that, well, tennis is never going to be as big as rugby, or cricket or soccer for obvious reasons, I just believe that tennis was a sport with such huge growth potential.”

He went on to say it’s not every day you get the opportunity to help change a sport from the inside out.

“I think I've always wanted to do something within sports federations in South Africa where we could have an impact because I think being involved in the sports marketing agency you get involved in different aspects of sports or clients, but you're always on the periphery, not at the center of things in terms of really steering the direction of a sport forward,” he said.

In the eight years that Glover has been in charge, TSA has managed to secure major sponsors like Growthpoint Properties, BNP Paribas and Kia Motors to name a few to help with the financial aspect of things.

“The financial side is always the biggest challenge because without money you can't really do anything or your options and the programs that you can run are very, very limited. I think we've (TSA) been pretty lucky over the last few years to have brought in a number of sponsors. So, there's a lot of brands that have sort of bought into our vision and I think that they're relatively pleased with how we are starting to progress.”

Although the federation has made impressive strides over the last couple of years, Glover says there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.

Glover explained what they want to achieve. “Our vision is really about growing the sport and making the sport more accessible to more communities in South Africa. And that's not an overnight thing. You can’t press a button and suddenly, there are kids across the country playing tennis, it takes lots of lots of long hours and let's be honest, it takes years to really, it'll take years to really get to where we want in terms of making the sport more accessible,” he said.

Glover says one of the questions he gets asked most often as CEO is, when will the SA Open make its return, but he says the timing is just not right.

“What we need to do now is we need to bring more. What I'd call entry-level international professional tournaments to SA, so that our young up and coming stars can really have that advantage, because the harsh reality is at the moment is, if there was an SA Open and when we talk about SA Open, it’s an ATP or WTA high profile event, how many South Africans would actually play in it? So, our focus has been really about trying to build that pathway from the bottom up in terms of big international Junior tournaments.”

Sports federation worldwide have felt the financial impact of COVID-19 and TSA is no exception.

“I think the reality is that we will probably be set back a year or two financially. But I do worry about the damage to, what I call, our wider tennis ecosystem. I think it's been really severe, and I give one example is tennis coaches.”

Glover explains, “There are hundreds and hundreds of tennis coaches across the country who currently can't earn a living under the current Level Four regulations and some of them are in a very, very tough situation. They have to make some hard decisions in the coming weeks, whether they continue to focus on tennis coaching as their profession, or whether they try and move into something else to try and, you know, survive.”

In terms of working with individual sports stars compared to a team environment, Glover says it’s been fascinating to see the different psyches.

“The psyche within team sports is very different from individual sports and I think the thing that's really impressed me about tennis players is that they're problem solvers. They are mentally very, very tough, and tend to be very intelligent people. I think an individual sport like tennis does develop certain aspects that you don't necessarily get from a team sport.”


This article first appeared on EWN : #ExtraTime with Tennis SA CEO Richard Glover


21 May 2020 1:56 PM
Tags:
Tennis
ExtraTime
Richard Glover

More from Sport

kaizer-chiefsjpg

Zwane and Sheppard will do well as Gavin Hunt's assistants - Mazola Molefe

22 September 2020 1:14 PM

Soccer Laduma senior writer Mazola Molefe says Sheppy has got an eye for talent and there is a synergy between them.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

180905hlatshwayogif

Bafana Bafana captain Thulani Hlatshwayo and Deon Hotto sign for Orlando Pirates

21 September 2020 8:37 PM

The acquisition of Thulani Hlatshwayo comes after a long-held interest in the Bafana Bafana captain.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Cricket South Africa CSA 123rf 123rfsport

Cricket South Africa apologises to Momentum for board member's tweet

16 September 2020 4:37 PM

Dr Eugenia Kula-Ameyaw called the insurer's decision not to renew sponsorship 'irrational' and questioned its BEE status.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

190121-gavin-hunt-edjpg

'Newspapers know about what I will be doing more than I do,' says Gavin Hunt

14 September 2020 5:35 PM

With speculation linking him to the Kaizer Chiefs coaching role, Hunt says he is waiting for word from his agent.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Cricket South Africa CSA 123rf 123rfsport

Any intervention we implement is controlled by us, not the minister - Sascoc

14 September 2020 2:14 PM

Acting CEO Ravi Govender says the federation is not putting Cricket SA under administration.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

ntando-mahlangujpg

I started running in 2014 and in 2016 I went to Rio to represent SA - Ntando

12 September 2020 3:35 PM

Young Paralympic star Ntando Mahlangu is featured in the Netflix documentary 'Rising Phoenix' which launched on 26 August.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

Cricket South Africa CSA 123rf 123rfsport

For cricket to recover we need certainly in the management of the sport - SACA

11 September 2020 5:46 PM

South African Cricketers' Association CEO Andrew Breetzke says one of the stumbling blocks is the forensic report.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

200910-shaun-bartlett-edjpg

Shaun Bartlett released as Kaizer Chiefs assistant coach

10 September 2020 11:12 AM

This comes just one day after the Soweto giants sacked head coach Ernst Middendorp.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

141215Middendorp.jpg

Kaizer Chiefs part ways with Ernst Middendorp

9 September 2020 5:27 PM

Middendorp joined Chiefs on 7 December 2018.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward

20200909amazulucobradlaminijfif

Ayanda 'Cobra' Dlamini named permanent AmaZulu head coach

9 September 2020 3:48 PM

The Durban based club took the decision to offer the role to Dlamini, following a successful run of results, since he stepped in as caretaker manager at the beginning of March.

Share this:
Read More arrow_forward