South Africa’s highest ranked wheelchair tennis women’s ace Kgothatso Montjane has attracted 10 sponsors offering funding of just under R1.5 million for the next year, to help her get to the top.
The Limpopo-born star wrote her name in the history books last month, becoming the first black African woman to play at Wimbledon.
The 32-year-old has earned praises and admiration for her fighting spirit at the grass tournament, dismantling former world number 6 Katharina Kruger from Germany before her brave run ended in the semi-finals.
The financial boost followed after Montjane travelled without a coach to London and, against all odds, gave her semifinals match her all before succumbing 6-1 7-5 to Dutch world number 1, Diede De Groot.
Her historical run in the tournament was not in vain, as it improved her world ranking to sixth.
Montjane’s Hard-Won Achievements Not in Vain
On her return home from London, South African corporate companies and government opened their hearts to support the trail-blazer, Montjane. Contributions ranging from R10 000 to R150 000 with the support of over 10 sponsors contributing to an overwhelming total of R1.5 million.
The funds, raised by Montjane with support from Optimize Agency will go towards covering her flights, accommodation, entry fees, ground transport and meals for the remainder of 2018 and 2019.
To make it to the top in tennis is an expensive proposition, especially for a player from South Africa where travel is always a significant extra cost. With the collective support from different sponsors, she has a far greater chance of breaking into the top 3 in the world.
Montjane jets off to America this Friday, made possible by a generous support from Makole Group, for another prestigious event on the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour, the US Open Grand Slam tournament starting from 6-9 September in New York. She will take part in the US Open Super Series event from 28 August until 2 September in St. Louis as a preparatory tournament prior to the last Grand Slam of the year.
“We are honoured to be taking part in making Kgothatso’s dreams come true.” – Makole Group Chairman Ndavhe Mareda
“The Makole Group is fully committed to the ethos of community upliftment and female empowerment and we believe that the strength, tenacity and discipline which underpins Kgothatso’s sportsmanship will lead her to even greater things. We wish her well on her journey and hope she brings success on her return to South Africa,” commented Ndavhe Mareda Chairman of Makole Group.
“We are very delighted that KG has attracted so much interest and support.” – Wheelchair Tennis South Africa Chairperson, Muditambi Ravele.
Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA) Chairperson of the Board Muditambi Ravele thanked the sponsors for their generous support and urged more corporates to support the sport.
“We are very delighted that KG has attracted so much interest and support,” said Ravele. “It is wonderful to see so many companies behind her. We know she will give it her all in the USA, hold the SA flag high and continue to make her name in yet another Grand Slam.
“Words cannot express our gratitude for this great support which will add onto the support KG already receives from SASCOC,” she added.
The agency who put the plan of action together, Optimize, was approached 3 weeks ago.
“We understood KG to be a champion, but we needed to make her into a revenue generating brand!” – Optimize CEO, Emy Casaletti.
“As such a professional sponsorship presentation was devised, a personalised logo was designed for her together with her own website www.kgothatsomontjane.com, and business cards.
In this vein, we hope Kgothatso can become a self-sustainable athlete with a lot to offer both sponsors and South Africans at large as an inspirational force to be reckoned with,” said the CEO, Emy Casaletti.
New Sponsors of SA No. 1 Wheelchair Tennis Player, Kgothatso Montjane:
About Makole Group: The Makole Group is a South African 100% black owned infrastructure, property development and mining group. The major companies of the Group are Makole Property Developments, MDP Consulting and Black Royalty Minerals
About WDB Investment Holdings (Women’s Development bank) – WDB is a women founded, women-led and operated group with a combined over 25 years’ experience with a focus on funding and supporting women entrepreneurs.
About Audi /VW Polokwane – In existence for 15 years – at Corner Nelson Mandela Drive & Grobler Street, N1 Motorcity, Polokwane Limpopo. Part of the MASINGITA Group under the leadership of Mike Nkuna.
About ASPEN Pharmacare – Listed on the JSE, a leading global player in specialty and branded pharmaceuticals with an extensive basket of products that benefit the lives of patients using their products in more than 150 countries.
About HPC University of Pretoria – TuksSport (Pty) Ltd, trading as hpc is the only sporting venue in Southern Africa and Africa that offers a sports school, a sports science centre, full hospitality services, as well as world-class coaching and training facilities in a one-stop-venue.
About Lotto Sport – As one of Italy’s timeless brands, Lotto shoes and apparel are worn by football, tennis and running enthusiasts the world over to boost their performance levels.
About Bonareng Office Supplies – 100% black owned stationery wholesalers, printing services, stationery supplies, stationery, office stationery supplies, printing company, stationers, printer supplies, printing supplies, printing cartridges, printing equipment.
About Casaletti Inc Attorneys – 100% woman owned and run law firm, specializing in Business Development Law. The services provided are geared at assisting small to medium sized entrepreneurial enterprises in developing their businesses and achieving exponential growth.
About Ottobock – Mobility for people: the name Ottobock stands for high-quality, functional and technologically outstanding products and services around the world. Ottobock has been the official cooperation partner of the International Paralympic Committee since 2005 and is dedicated to sports for the disabled.
Photo 1 caption: South Africa’s leading wheelchair tennis women’s ace Kgothatso Montjane chats to media following her US Open send-off and sponsorship announcement at Crowne Plaza in Rosebank on Wednesday, 22 August, 2018. Photo: Optimize Agency
Photo 2 caption: South Africa’s world number 6 wheelchair tennis ace Kgothatso Montjane sign gifts for the sponsors ,during the send-off and sponsorship announcement.
With editing by gsport