29 Aug 2017

Tennis South Africa celebrates women in tennis

News Article

Mpho Makhoba (RSA) receives her Woman of The Year accolade

Tennis South Africa (TSA) has renewed its commitment to the development of women in tennis as part of its celebration of National Women’s Month.

In a major boost to the efforts by TSA, their Development Manager Mpho Makhoba was crowned Woman of the year on Saturday at the 12th Annual GSport Awards.

Makhaba is a shining example of the opportunities granted to women tennis administrators.

“I recognise the role TSA have played in me winning this award,” said Makhoba on receiving her trophy from Gauteng MEC of Sport, Arts and Culture, Faith Mazibuko.

“I love tennis, it’s my passion and the development of tennis is in my blood. Women are so in need of continued support to be better persons and live better lives. They deserve it as they play such a vital role in society.”

Makhoba started as a tennis player and later became an official. Her love for the game has enabled her to create a successful career out of the sport. She is the first female tennis technical official in Africa to have been awarded the coveted ITF Silver Badge, and last year she was named Technical Official of the Year at the Gauteng Sports Awards.

“Research shows us that tennis is arguably the most gender balanced sport in the country, with players and fans enjoying almost a 50:50 male to female ratio,” said TSA Chief Executive Officer, Richard Glover.

“TSA also recognises that increasing participation and interest in tennis amongst South Africa females is a huge growth opportunity for our Federation. We recently convened a Women’s Tennis Task Force, consisting of leading South African female coaches and ex-players, to review all aspects of women’s tennis and make some strategic recommendations as to how we can encourage more girls to play tennis at schools, keep more women in the game after school and produce more female high performance players.”

Glover congratulated Makhoba on behalf of TSA for her award and ongoing success and dedication to the game and development of sport in general.

Joining Glover in praising Makhoba was leading businesswoman and TSA Board member, Gugu Ntuli. 

“Mpho is a woman of exceptional character and determination, who has made a career out of the sport she loves,” said Ntuli. “She is proving to be a great example to women who wish to make a career in sport.”

Other women recognised by TSA during Women’s Month include one of South Africa’s rising tennis stars, teenager Myah Petchey of Cape Town. Tennis plays an important role in the Petchey family – father Mark, who played Davis Cup for Great Britain and coached British tennis star Andy Murray, is a leading tennis commentator on Sky Sports, and Myah’s sister Nicole, has a tennis scholarship to a leading American university.

Myah got her break when she won her first international title at the NWU Pukke ITF tournament in Potchefstroom earlier this year.

“I am grateful to TSA for hosting international junior events at home,” said Petchey. “It is thanks to TSA that I had my break in Potchefstroom because I felt comfortable playing in conditions I am used to.”