South African veteran tennis players, scheduled to play in the International Tennis Federation (ITF) Seniors World Individual Championships in Christchurch New Zealand are all accounted for and safe following one of the biggest earthquakes in┬áNew Zealand history earlier this week.
The ITF along with Canterbury Tennis have decided to cancel the 2011 ITF Senior World Individual Championships, scheduled to be played in Christchurch next week. The organisers of the event will now make every effort to ensure a safe return home for all participants.
ÔÇ£We send our sincere sympathies to the people of Christchurch who have suffered so much due to the earthquake that hit their city on Tuesday,ÔÇØ said ITF President Francesco Ricci Bitti.┬áÔÇ£While we are, of course, relieved that all the players, captains and officials who were in Christchurch this week are safe, we are mindful of the loss of life and the large number of injuries that have occurred in Christchurch.┬áWe thank Tennis New Zealand and Canterbury Tennis for their outstanding efforts on behalf of the Seniors World Team and Individual Championships. We also thank the players for their support of both events and their willingness to play on in these difficult conditions.ÔÇØ
ITF representative and South African Veteran Tennis Association Manager, Lorna Krog who is in New Zealand said that all South African players were safe and accounted for. ÔÇ£We have had word from all South African players following the earthquake and are doing everything we can to ensure their safe return to their friends and family in South Africa.ÔÇØ
Ian Smith, CEO of The South African Tennis Association (SATA) said that he and the Board of SATA were relieved that the South African team in New Zealand were safe and sound. ÔÇ£On behalf of all the tennis players in our country we send our deepest condolences to those in New Zealand who lost their lives and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those effected and with New Zealand as a whole. We are happy to hear that the South African players, although obviously effected and inconvenienced by the earthquake, are safe and accounted for.ÔÇØ
The South African team in New Zealand is comprised of the following players:
Suzanne Lenglen Cup (35+ women): Sally Estcourt (WP)(captain), Marlese Wilke-Louw (NC), Nicky Loram (GC)
Young Cup (40+ women): Annerie Wessels (GN), Marine Neethling (SWD), Tracey Bulmer (GC) (captain)
Margaret Court Cup (45+ women): Ronel Louw (GN)(captain), Christine van Coller (SWD), Gilian Senekal (BOL)
Maria Esther Bueno Cup (50+ women): Muriel Cherry (WP), Melrise Ungerer (MPU), Moira Golden (GC)(captain)
Maureen Connolly Cup (55+ women): Jenny Cerff (WP), Sonja Botha (GN)(captain), Martella Meyer (NWP)
Italia Cup (35+ men): Hanru Fourie (NWP), Gareth Fray (BOR), Duane Armstrong (GE)(captain)
Tony Trabert Cup (40+ men): Robert Dick (BOL), Jacques de Beer (SWD)(captain)
Dubler Cup (45+ men): Robert Matthee (GE)(captain), Michael Beverley
Fred Perry Cup (50+ men): Piet van Blerk (BOL)(captain), Duard Botha (GC), Perry Grant (NWP)
Austria Cup (55+ men): Ronnie van’t Hof (SWD)(captain), Archie Rudman (BOR), Mike Raymond (GC), Miles Foxcroft (GC)