Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic. Photo: IANS
Serbian tennis player Novak Djokovic. Photo: IANS

Signed Novak Djokovic shirt gives 'Tennis Cares' a nice shot in the arm

By Herman Gibbs Time of article published May 22, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - “Tennis Cares”, a fundraising initiative run by Tennis South Africa and their two partners, has been given a shot in the arm with auction offerings of a signed Novak Djokovic shirt and Raven Klaasen’s Wimbledon final racquet.

Tennis SA, Caring Daisies (a Pretoria-based charity) and John-Laffnie de Jager launched “Tennis Cares” two weeks ago to help coaches and technical officials who have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

To date, 49 coaches and officials have been awarded food vouchers that can be redeemed at retailers like Pick * Pay and Shoprite Checkers.

This week Tennis SA were handed a signed Djokovic shirt and Klaasen’s racquet that he used in the 2018 Wimbledon final. Up to now, the fund relied on donations from the public and tennis fraternity.

De Jager, the former SA Davis Cup and Fed Cup captain and one of the people responsible for staging “The Match in Africa” between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in Cape Town earlier this year, has been one of the driving forces behind the fundraiser.

“As a tennis coach myself, it is extremely hard to see and hear how some of my fellow coaches and tennis officials are struggling in these difficult times. I feel it is my duty to jump in and help make a difference,” said De Jager.

“Tennis coaches have no platform to get any support from the government. Coaches are bleeding since it’s a case of no work, no pay.

“I am appealing to the government to let us tennis coaches get on the court so that we can work and look after our families.” Richard Glover, chief executive of Tennis SA said coaches and technical officials cannot work or earn a living under the current national risk-adjusted strategy regulations. “Tennis Cares” will assist coaches and officials who are most in need and they will receive food vouchers which will be made available every week.


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