The sport of Tennis has a proud tradition at WBHS.
Tennis was first introduced as a sport at the School in the 1960’s when four Tennis courts were constructed by the Education Department. In 1969, the School’s 1st Tennis team won promotion to the 1st division of the Durban & Districts Schools’ league, and since that time the Westville teams have maintained their high profile at provincial and national levels.
A previous Deputy Principal of the School, John de Wet, is credited with establishing both the KZN and SA Schools Tennis Associations in 1980, a venture which led to the formation of structures for selection of provincial and South African Schools teams. Since that time, WBHS players have regularly featured in the provincial and national schools Tennis teams.
Tennis at WBHS is managed by teacher and qualified Tennis pro, Pam Hayward. The School fields four teams of 6 players each in the local leagues, and also promotes Tennis as a social sport. There are currently 75 players registered for Tennis at WBHS.
Such is the renewed popularity in the sport, that the School has found four Tennis courts to be insufficient. Consequently the School has secured access to 12 Tennis courts at Westville Tennis Club and Westville Country Club for time-tabled sports periods and practices. The School uses Westridge Park for its home matches. The Multi-Purpose Centre, built in 2005/6, now occupies the site of the original four courts.
The Pro-Tennis Academy headed by nationally-accredited coaches, Rowena Sanders and Bruce Young, conducts practices and training for all teams and non-team players. They are assisted by the School’s in-house agility and movement instructor. High-performance training and practices are offered to the 1st team squad, while development squad training is offered to less experienced players.
A number of the School’s current players have been achieving well in national junior events thereby earning high national rankings and selection for SA High-Performance squads. This recognition, at times, ultimately leads to absence from school. The School supports such players in their goals to achieve well in Tennis. Life coaching and counselling is provided to enable them to meet the additional demands placed on them, while additional support is provided by their teachers and the WBHS Academic Support Programme to ensure that they are able to achieve their potential in their various subjects.
WBHS boasts several players who have made their mark at provincial and national levels. Ellis Ferreira (old boy of 1986) and Robbie Koenig (1987) went on to represent South Africa in the Davis Cup, and both earned Top 5 ATP World rankings in Doubles. Ellis represented SA in the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, as well as in the Davis Cup from 1996 to 2001. He earned the distinction of a Grand Slam doubles title, partnering American Rick Leach in winning the Australian Open in 2000. The pair were also finalists in the 2000 US Open. Robbie has gone on to earn international recognition as a TV commentator.
A number of other Westville players who have also made their mark as professionals in the highly competitive arenas of the ATP Tennis Circuit, the American University league and World Team Tennis are Royce Deppe, Brent Haygarth, Simon Edmonds, Myles Wakefield, Grant Adams, Clinton and Lionel Ferreira, and more recently, Rikus de Villiers and Richard Cowden.