11 Feb 2013

Vergeer joins Cruyff Foundation's visit to South Africa

News Article

Photo: Johan Cruyff FoundationCruyff Foundation Wheelchair tennis clinic in johannesburg

Thirteen-time ITF World Champion Esther Vergeer joined the Cruyff Foundation for a highly successful and memorable visit to South Africa. During the trip a series of wheelchair tennis clinics in Elandsdoorn and Johannesburg were held to help celebrate the Cruyff Foundation’s 10 years of funding for the Wheelchair Tennis Development Fund. During the trip Vergeer celebrated 10 years unbeaten in singles competition.

South Africa was one of the first countries identified by the Wheelchair Tennis Development Fund project and has gone on to develop a highly successful wheelchair tennis programme. Leading South African players were on hand, alongside Vergeer, to assist with the clinic in Johannesburg.

The Cruyff Foundation is donating ZAR 120,000-00 towards purchasing wheelchair tennis equipment and coaching for over more than six villages in the Elandsdoorn area. This sponsorship will bolster the development programme supported by Airports Company South Africa.

“It was great to see how the sport has developed over the years and how strong the programme is these days,” said Cruyff Foundation Project Coordinator Miranda van Holstein. “Many Wheelchair Tennis South Africa coaches give weekly clinics all over the countries, with much joy and passion. There are so many young children and youngsters who, through the programme, are able to develop themselves on and off the court. Our compliments and appreciation goes to those who make this all possible.

“Reflecting on the visit to South Africa, Vergeer said: “It was a great experience for me to be there and to see a project for myself. Of course, it was sometimes very confronting to see how the circumstances are over there. But to also see the joy on the people’s faces was awesome to see. I really think playing sports is helping the people building confidence, finding a place in society, and of course having a lot of fun!”