Johannesburg, South Africa - The much anticipated Ability Challenge, in which top players and celebrities will pit themselves against South Africa’s wheelchair superstars, like Lucas Sithole, South African number one and world number two quad player, KG Montjane, South Africa’s top female wheelchair player, and Evans Maripa, top-ranked South African male player is set for Tuesday 8 April 2014.
From L-R: Afrikaans rapper Jack Parow with South African wheelchair tennis star and world number 27 male player, Leon Els at the 2012 Ability Challenge.
From L-R is the South African number 1 and world number 2 quads player, Lucas Sithole with E-TV’s Craz-E presenter Zola Hashatsi at the 2012 Ability Challenge.
Pictures by: Reg Caldecott
The Ability Challenge sponsored by Airports Company of South Africa and hosted by Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA) will be staged at the Ithembilihe Lsen School in Primrose, Germiston between 09h30 and 12h00.
There will be four teams in the challenge battling for title honours. Each team will consist of a celebrity, a wheelchair tennis player, and two able bodied players.
This is the third Ability challenge, historically linked to Disability Day but now associated with the upcoming Airports Company South Africa wheelchair tennis series of tournament; the Gauteng Open (23-27 April, Benoni Lake) and SA Open (29 April-3 May, Ellis Park, Johannesburg). Both tournaments have attracted a top international and local entry and are part of the ITF Wheelchair Tennis Tour.
Celebrities who have already confirmed their participation are as follows:
• Nicole Da Silva
• Lerato Kgalamono
• Mpho Sebeng
• Chanley Wong
• Ntokozo Molefe
• Zola Hashatsi
• DJ Mo Flava (Club 808 on etv)
• Robert Marawa
Members of South Africa’s Fed Cup team will also be attending the Challenge.
“Disabled sport is globally becoming more recognized and Airports Company South Africa have earmarked wheelchair tennis as the disability code they are committed to supporting. “We are very excited by the idea of exposing more people to wheelchair tennis and to our top wheelchair players. We believe many more people will come to appreciate the skills and performances of these players by watching them in action at Ithembilihe Lsen School” said Unathi Batyashe of Airports Company South Africa.
WTSA General Manager Karen Losch said that although it would have been preferable to have held the Ability Challenge on World Tennis Day, WTSA was very excited about the concept. “The achievements of our wheelchair players have made South Africa so proud, and so it seems only fitting that we should showcase them at one of our wheelchair development hubs. We hope people will turn out in numbers on April 8 to join in the fun, be inspired and entertained and celebrate our wheelchair superstars,” she said.
There is no entry fee for public to watch the Ability Challenge. All are welcome and invited to join a day of music, fun and sporting excellence.