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Star Selepe scores big in Holland

Patrick Selepe is doing wonders as an umpire these days . / Eunice Visagie
Patrick Selepe is doing wonders as an umpire these days . / Eunice Visagie

Former South African wheelchair tennis player Patrick Selepe was named as the inaugural winner of the Uniqlo Spirit Award at the weekend.

The accolade is awarded annually to a wheelchair tennis player who change the world around them by challenging themselves and striving for the highest standards imaginable.

"It is a great honour to be the first winner of the award, this is huge for me," said Selepe, who received a $5000 (about R70582) cash prize in Bemmel, the Netherlands, on Sunday.

"I will continue to work hard, raise awareness for people living with disabilities and continue to be a reminder to all people with disabilities that it is possible.

"Thank you to International Tennis Federation and Uniqlo for this great recognition, not forgetting Wheelchair Tennis South Africa who offered me a life-changing opportunity," added Selepe.

He was commended for his commitment to all aspects of wheelchair tennis over a period of 10 years - as a competitive player and as an official. Selepe became the first disabled person to attain the white badge officiating qualification.

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