TSA takes over wheelchair tennis

Lucas Sithole this month led SA quads team to their first World Team Cup medal at the BNP Parbas World Team Cup in Israel.
Lucas Sithole this month led SA quads team to their first World Team Cup medal at the BNP Parbas World Team Cup in Israel.
Image: Veli Nhlapo

Tennis SA (TSA) yesterday formally took over operations and management of the sport of wheelchair tennis in the country.

Wheelchair tennis has for the previous 14 years been run as an independent business by Wheelchair Tennis SA (WTSA).

Earlier this year, WTSA announced it was planning to hand over the reins of its programmes and operations to TSA, and the membership of both organisations
recently unanimously approved resolutions for the transfer of the business.

WTSA has operated as a separate entity since its inception back in 2005 and has delivered some outstanding results on the international stage. South Africa's wheelchair tennis programme is considered by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) as a global success story. WTSA recently saw its quads and women's team make history at the ITF World Team Cup by becoming the first African team to reach the semifinal rounds. The quads team went on to clinch a bronze medal, which was also a first for Africa.

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The country today boasts some of the world's best wheelchair tennis players, including former world number 2 and two-time Grand Slam champion Lucas Sithole, Wimbledon semifinalist Kgothatso Montjane, former world number 11 Evans Maripa, former world number 1 junior Mariska Venter and many more.

WTSA chairperson Muditambi Ravele thanked players, coaches, employees, partners and other stakeholders for the amazing work and contribution over the years.

"It's been a challenging but great journey and we are very grateful to our players, coaches, employees and partners for their support and commitment over the years, as well as their unwavering dedication to the sport and, most importantly, to player development."

Ravele said she believed the transfer will open doors to more opportunities. "We are excited to hand over a great programme. This transfer will bring great opportunities for tennis as a whole."

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