Squash in South Africa has received a major boost with the announcement that Growthpoint Properties has renewed its sponsorship of the sport for a further year.
The partnership between Squash SA and one of property’s leading international companies will ensure that the sport continues to thrive, both at an elite level and in the grassroots development programmes.
The sponsorship renewal will take Growthpoint Properties’ involvement with squash in the country to May 31 next year and enable the national body to continue to host high-profile events such as the Growthpoint Interprovincial and the Growthpoint SA Nationals.
Squash SA president Kyle Potgieter said the association with Growthpoint Properties was playing an important role for both parties.
“We believe our strategy to grow the game of squash in South Africa and to support our local athletes is exciting for brands like Growthpoint, who see the huge commercial potential the sport has to connect them with a highly desirable audience,” he said. “The renewal helps us to deliver a consistent product that is attractive to sponsors.”
“The partnership also assists us in showcasing our biggest national event in one of South Africa’s most iconic shopping centres, the V&A Waterfront. This connects squash fans as well as casual onlookers to the sport. We would like to invite more corporates to support Squash SA to enable us to deliver more world-class events like this every year.”
With the sponsorship having been initiated in 2017, Squash SA has been able to place the sport in the public domain through the SA Nationals, erecting the all-glass court in shopping malls around the country.
In 2020, the sport’s premier event was held in the Brooklyn Mall in Pretoria and last year it took place at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.
The SA Nationals tournament has proved highly popular in its new format, in which eight events are held in regional hubs, with the men’s and women’s winners from each qualifying for the elite finals.
This has seen around 400 players from across the country entering the tournaments each year, creating widespread exposure for both the sport and the sponsors.
For the first time in 2021 an U17 category was added to the main finals at the V&A Waterfront and that has been extended to the U15 and U19 age-groups this year, creating massive opportunities for the sport’s younger generation.
In addition, the Growthpoint Interprovincial, which took place in East London last week, is back to its best after restricted entries in the past two years due to the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A total of 40 teams (four men’s sections and two women’s) and 220 players were in action, with the passion still burning brightly among South Africa’s provinces to claim the prestigious Jarvis (men) and Kaplan (women) Cup titles.
While this all creates fantastic exposure for a certain level of players, Growthpoint Properties and Squash SA looking after tomorrow’s stars.
In a CSI programme called the Growthpoint Superstars, support is offered to disadvantaged children and identified youth with high potential.
In 2022 the programme will support 17 development clinics across the country to ensure that the development of squash across the board remains in a healthy state.
Growthpoint Properties SA CEO Estienne de Klerk said they were pleased to extend the partnership with Squash SA.
“What started as the sponsorship of the three major squash events in SA five years ago has evolved to include developing the next generation of SA players,” he said. “Taking major squash events to the public raises the profile of the sport and its sponsors, while cultivating its development makes a lasting difference to the game, creating opportunities for young stars from all backgrounds to participate. In this way, our sponsorship reflects Growthpoint’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) strategy by having a positive impact on communities and the fabric of South African society.”
Growthpoint Properties is a leading international property company that creates space to thrive with innovative and sustainable property solutions in environmentally friendly buildings. It is invested in real estate and communities across South Africa, Africa, Australia, Poland, Romania, and the UK, and is South Africa’s largest primary JSE-listed REIT. Growthpoint owns and manages the largest portfolio of green-certified buildings in Africa and is 50% co-owner of the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.