Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA) is planning to hand over the reins of its programmes and operations to Tennis South Africa (TSA). The organisations are in advanced negotiations to finalise an agreement that will see Wheelchair Tennis become part of the national body of tennis and operate as a key department.
The two parties are hoping to have the new arrangement in place within the next few months, but the timing depends on both parties fulfilling key legal and governance requirements.
Wheelchair tennis and able-bodied tennis are run as one entity in every other country around the world, and WTSA manager Karen Losch believes the merger will open doors to more opportunities.
“We are incredibly excited about the potential this change will unlock for the sport in years to come. We are stronger together,” she says. WTSA has had an extraordinary journey since its inception in 2005. The International Tennis Federation (ITF) considers it one of the global success stories in introducing the sport, which makes it one of the top wheelchair tennis structures in the world – a milestone very few sporting codes ever reach.
Losch says this amazing accomplishment was made possible by each and every person involved: “We would like to send a special thank you to our players, coaches, employees and other stakeholders for their continued support and commitment over the years; their unwavering dedication to the sport; and most importantly, to player development.
“For their unfaltering commitment we thank them, and we hope they continue with the same spirit. We are confident that there will be many more accomplishments to celebrate ahead.”
TSA will send out communication in due course regarding future plans. However, the goals and vision for Wheelchair Tennis remain unchanged: To introduce and offer the sport to as many people with physical disabilities as possible. The coaching programmes within centres will continue to run as is until further notice.