Support wheelchair tennis talent in Limpopo

POLOKWANE – When it comes to talent in the game of wheelchair tennis there is no shortage, especially in Limpopo.

This is according to Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA) Development Manager Patrick Selepe.

He has been tasked to oversee the search for future stars since the sport was first taken seriously in 2005.

Selepe said that Limpopo has some of the best talent possible for this sport and that all that is needed is the funding to help develop the talent as far as possible.

“Apart from the tournament players the province has some of the most promising youngsters. With financial assistance for coaching and equipment at the centres, and offering events within Limpopo, the province can regain its dominance in the sport,” Selepe said.

He added that anyone with a passion for the sport and the willingness to assist in any way can contact him directly on 082 679 3768 or on email patrick@tennis.co.za

Some of the local talent:

Evans Maripa, who has represented the country in two Paralympic Games and is now making waves around the world by being two spots away from breaking into the world’s top 10. He is ranked 12th globally in the men’s division.

Read more: SA wheelchair tennis star wins 1st doubles title of the season

Kgothatso Montjane, who is the world’s number eight and is from Seshego, just outside Polokwane.

Kgothatso Montjane of South Africa in action in the women’s final during day 4 of the Wheelchair Tennis Joburg Open at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre on July 05, in Johannesburg.

Selepe said that the disabled youth of Limpopo and the country draw inspiration from the women’s wheelchair tennis players like Montjane who holds 39 singles and 48 doubles titles and is unbeaten by any other African player in the past nine years. She was also the first African player to compete in a wheelchair tennis grand slam and has represented Africa at three Paralympic Games. She also garnered her third Swiss Open crown in Switzerland earlier this year.

Sydwell Matjonsi is another player who is worth mentioning as he reached a career best-ranking of 32 globally, and competed in the 2008 Paralympic Games.

• Nancy Moremi and Desmond Monyamane both respectively represented the SA team in the World Team Cups.

• Rising stars Selepe said include Donald Ramphedi, Ishmail Tshipuke, Mabel Makgele and Ronewa Madzanani.

SA mens ranked number five Donald Ramphadi returns the ball during the Wheelchair Tennis Joburg Open at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre in Johannesburg.

Ronewa Mudzanani in action during the Joburg Open at the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre in Johannesburg.

riana@nmgroup.co.za

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  AUTHOR
Riana Joubert
Journalist

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