Wheelchair Tennis SA Lauds Women

by | Aug 9, 2012

Kgothatso Montjane in action in the second round of the women's singles during Day 2 of the ACSA SA Wheelchair Tennis Open at Ellis Park Tennis Stadium, on 22 April, 2012 in Johannesburg. Photo: Reg Caldecott / Gallo Images

National Women’s Day, 9 August 2012 is an annual public holiday that commemorates the inspiring display of women’s courage and strength in South Africa’s history. It is a day where all South Africans join together and reflect on the memory of the great women who moulded South Africa, and a day to celebrate the women who continue to lead and inspire us forward.

Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA) are proud of our female athletes, not only for what they have accomplished personally, but for the contribution they have made in growing the sport.

“We, and our athletes, would not be as strong if it were not for the significant contribution and support we receive from all the women whose lives we touch, whether it is the physio’s, doctors or trainers working with the athletes, or the athletes support system of caring mothers and sisters, daughters, grandmothers, aunts, girlfriends and wife’s.

Your unwavering support, and unconditional love for the athletes is greatly appreciated. It is for these reasons, and many more, we celebrate National Women’s Day.

One of WTSA’s phenomenal women is Kgothatso Montjane, South Africa’s no.1 in the Women’s division and ranked 10th internationally. “Kg” as she is fondly known, has shown strength of character, immense discipline, and unrelenting determination.

She has confronted life’s challenges head on, to stand tall and be a role model we can all respect and admire. Montjane was born with a congenital birth defect leaving her no alternative but to have her left leg amputated below the knee. She has a BSc degree and is currently studying Retail Management at UJ.

Kgothatso Montjane will be representing South Africa at the upcoming London Paralympics at the end of August. We wish Montjane and the other 3 WTSA players, Lucas Sithole, Evans Maripa and Sydwell Mathonsi all the best for the 2012 Paralympics. Your achievements are an inspiration.

Other inspirational women in our fold are Rose van der Meer and Celia du Toit. Rose is the winner of the recent Airports Company South Africa Soweto Open and Airports Company South Africa Polokwane Open. Van der Meer is ranked no.2 in the Women’s division in South Africa, and no.35 internationally.

SA no. 2 Rose van der Meer in action against Mariska Venter, in the women's final of the 2012 ACSA Polokwane Open, played at the Polokwane Tennis Club earlier this year. Photo: Reg Caldecott

Van der Meer is a gentle but extremely driven woman. Her soft nature is complimented by a firm determination to succeed. She personifies the true essence of a woman. Celia du Toit, SA’s no.3 ranked woman is another remarkable woman.

She commented that “Balancing a successful career in the banking industry, being a wife and a top wheelchair tennis player is not always easy, but is rewarding.” A car accident at the age of 14 years changed her life forever. Although the accident left her wheelchair bound, she believes it taught her to always count her blessings and go the extra mile.

Looking at role models of the future, Mariska Venter and Mabel Mankgele are two such women. They are making a statement on the court, and we believe will be an inspiration to all women in time to come.

WTSA’s Manager Karen Losch said: “Today, we celebrate and toast the contribution we as women make to our country, our employers, our families and our communities. It is often the little things we do that are forgotten, the mountains we move to create stability, the pieces we pick up and put together to mould our loved ones, and the love only a mother can give.

“To those women who are able to rise above this, and provide role models for us all, we salute you. To our athletes, and “Kg” in particular, continue to shine. We will watch you in London, whether you come back with a medal or not, you will always be an inspiration us.”

Participation in local and international tournaments is made possible by a generous sponsorship from Airports Company South Africa, the official sponsor of the sport.


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