20 Nov 2017

ITF appoints three new Development Officers

News Article

The ITF has announced the appointment of three new Development Officers, with positions filled in Europe, Southern Africa and Pacific Oceania.

Vitor Cabral will take the position of Development Officer for Europe from the beginning of 2018 and Tapiwa Masunga becomes Development Officer for Southern Africa from 1 December 2017. Gary Purcell has been in position as Development Officer for Pacific Oceania since 25 September 2017.

Cabral, Masunga and Purcell joined their colleagues at the annual Development Officers’ meeting at the ITF’s Head Office in London in late October, and all three expressed excitement at joining the ITF’s team.

“Some of the Development Officers have been here for many years and are also very experienced,” Cabral said. “So this is very important and it gives us a nice sense of being in a team, and a big team and a very strong team.”

All three new Development Officers have strong backgrounds in playing and coaching tennis. Cabral, who is from Porto, has worked with the Portuguese Tennis Federation for 25 years and is also a university teacher in tennis, training methodology, physiology, biomechanics and sports management.

Masunga attended the ITF Training Centre in Pretoria as a junior before going on to play college tennis in the United States at Florida State University. She worked for the Intercollegiate Tennis Association before moving back to her home country of Botswana, and has recently worked at both the Botswana Tennis Association and the Botswana National Olympic Committee.

Purcell has many years of experience in coaching both his native Ireland and in Australia. He has been Tournament Director for a wide range of Australian junior and professional tournaments including the Melbourne Wheelchair Open in 2016 and 2017.

The trio all said that they were looking forward to beginning their new roles and positive about their hopes and plans for contributing to the development of tennis in their region.

“We’d love to obviously raise the standard of tennis in the Pacific, throughout the whole region,” Purcell explained. “We’d love to develop tennis from the grassroots all the way up to performance juniors, hopefully getting on some [ITF/Grand Slam Development Fund] Touring Teams and maybe breaking into the top ranks of the ITF.”

Masunga added: “I hope to provide opportunities, mainly for more African players to not only get to where I managed to get to, but to provide opportunities for them to get further. Tennis is not just about performance and medals and so forth, it’s also about the social aspect of the sport that can bring change to not just the child in Africa but the entire family.”