ACADEMY IN DIRE NEED OF
number one tennis player Arthur Ashe, is unhappy. His complaint relates to a lack of sponsorship.
“We appeal to sponsors to come and rescue us so that our players can compete at international competitions,” he pleaded.
Nthuping said sponsorship would help players participate in more competitions, which would help them gain points that would lead to their getting higher rankings.
High ranking players get invited to national and international tournaments.
“Sometimes, we can’t host international tournaments because our players will not even qualify to participate.”
An elated Mokone, who leaves in June for the UK, said all she wants is to see herself representing South Africa.
Those behind the fundraising claim that about R70 000 was raised within a week.
Professional services firm PwC donated R46 715 to cover the full cost of Mokone’s trip. The money was to be deposited straight into Tennis SA’s account last week.
Lepule Consultants donated R15 000 to cover other costs such as meals, the UK visa, tennis equipment, clothing and toiletries.
Kaya FM was first to report on Mokone’s plight, and the radio station’s listeners contributed almost R8 000, which would be put into a savings account that the station would open on her behalf.
Nthuping speaks highly of Mokone, saying: “Amukelani is a hard worker. When you ask her to do something, she goes an extra mile.”
Nthuping said Mokone’s focus, commitment and attitude would take her far.
While the coach was happy about her UK trip, he felt that Mokone was treated unfairly in 2015, when she was supposed to receive a bursary but did not, after which “flimsy excuses” were provided.
He said: “They said she did not receive it because she was fat. How can a tiny little girl like her be said to be fat? They said she was older than 15, but she is still not 15.”
Mokone will only turn 15 on December 28.
BOND Amukelani Mokone with her supportive granny Tsakane