Tennis at Maritzburg College

Competitive tennis started in March 1892, where a College team took on the Pietermaritzburg Tennis Club. The Natal Witness commented that‚ "Although beaten, the boys showed good form, and with practice should develop into good players". (For Hearth and Home).

Tennis continued to be played at College but generally on a social scale and in 1904 house matches were introduced. As always weather played a great role especially as the courts were earth courts and rain played havoc with this surface. This problem was finally rectified in 1953 when two courts were concreted.

By the time the 2nd world war had ended tennis became a recognised sport at College . In 1947 at least six fixtures were arranged against other local schools and the University. In 1952 school tennis received a boost in the presentation of the Deness Cup which was given in honour of Brian Deness, who died of polio. This league is still being played. By 1953 first team tennis players were awarded the coveted Large White Badge.

By 1959 College had four courts in total and had won the Deness trophy five times in succession. In 1964 the Bonnefinn trophy was introduced for U14 players and College snapped it up straight away.

College did not maintain its monopoly on the tennis trophies and tennis went into a slump in the early 70's. Competition was already tough with one of the main contenders being Kearsney. The introduction of the Vic King Trophy for Doubles players added new spice to the competition and in 1974 , the first year the tournament was being played, College brought the trophy home. By 1977 College had seven adequately surfaced courts in operation just above College Road.

By 1984, 200 boys were playing tennis either socially or competitively at College and Kershaw under the strict eye of Mr Howard who was the teacher in charge and legendary coach. When the tennis shelter was built in 1984, it was named "Howies hut" after Mr Derek Howard. This was also known as‚ "one of the best years in the history of tennis". All the age groups went through the season unbeaten.


Congratulations to Nicolai Manchev (6th form) who won the men's tennis open at the Dunlop mini series challenge in Durban in February.



Mrs Marié Troveri

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