April 28th, 2011
South Africa is the first African country to host the wheelchair tennis World Team Cup (WTC) for the 27th edition of the competition, which falls under the auspices of the International Tennis Federation (ITF).
The WTC runs from Sunday 24 April to Sunday 1 May on the hard courts of the University of Pretoria.
WTC is the largest world tennis tournament for disabled players and this prestigious event is often referred to as "The Davis Cup" for disabled tennis players. The initial event took place in California in 1985 involving six men's teams. The World Team Cup has continued to grow with 330 of the world's top wheelchair tennis players from 44 countries and now also includes women, quad and junior competitions. Invacare has been the title sponsor of this competition for 16 years!
The Dutch tennis player, Maikel Scheffers,
in action on an Invacare® Top End® T5
Invacare first became involved in World Team Cup in 1995, taking over title sponsorship in 1996. In 2008, the company increased its commitment to the event, including operational support behind the scenes. This year Invacare will support the Wheelchair Tennis Doubles Masters which will take place in Amsterdam in November (read more). Supporting wheelchair tennis represents everything Invacare stands for - independence, freedom, and an active and positive lifestyle, and it perfectly fits our company motto ‘Yes, you can’.
Today Invacare is running the repair shop of the competition offering free repair services to the wheelchairs athletes. Our dedicated Invacare team does its best to support the athletes.
Our team at the Invacare repair
The ITF World Team Cup remains a key event in Invacare annual calendar and we are proud to be part of it.
Yesterday, ITF, the Cruyff Foundation and Invacare visited the Arthur Ashe Tennis Centre in Soweto for a clinic. The South Africa Wheelchair Tennis Association with the help of the Wheelchair Tennis Silver Funds has started a project to create a wheelchair tennis group and yesterday was the kick off meeting. Invacare as a partner of both the ITF and the Cruyff Foundation was present to share the same philosophy: offering chances to the disabled youth worldwide.
It was the first time these disabled people could sit in a tennis wheelchair. The most important thing was to have fun in a wheelchair. Today the group is visiting the WTC and Invacare will do some basic service on their wheelchairs. In 2 weeks a special programme will start to get more disabled people interested in playing tennis.
The clinic participants in Soweto, South Africa. From left to right: Daniel Absolon, ITF -
Miranda van Holstijn, Cruyff Foundation - Jacques van den Groenendaal, Invacare -
Wheelchair participants and in the middle Ellen de Lange, ITF - right player to Ellen De
Lange: Nyasha Mharakurwa from Zimbabwe