Absa Premiership

Stars do it for the love of the game

2017-04-16 06:16
ACE: Brighton Mhlongo and a couple of his team-mates faced a tough test at the Ellis Park tennis stadium while playing wheelchair tennis. (Reg Caldecott).

Johannesburg - Orlando Pirates players Patrick Phungwayo, Brighton Mhlongo and Ntsikelelo Nyauza faced a test tougher than the Soweto derby at the Ellis Park tennis stadium in Johannesburg on Thursday.

The trio were given a taste of wheelchair tennis, with coaching provided by top South African players competing in the SA Open.

It was the first time Mhlongo witnessed wheelchair tennis, let alone tried to play it, but, by the end of the session, the Pirates goalkeeper could not get enough.

“I had the best time of my life. It was a great experience, a very humbling experience rubbing shoulders with the South African wheelchair tennis stars, and it was just amazing to see the talent that they have,” Mhlongo said afterwards.

Team-mate Nyauza said: “It was difficult, but also exciting. I really enjoyed it. It was great to experience something different from football.”

Rio Paralympics T42 200m silver medallist Ntando Mahlangu (15) said: “I have never played tennis before...it was my first time and I enjoyed it.

"I remember some of the players from the [Rio] Paralympics team last year – it was nice seeing them again. I really respect how they move and how fast they can go.

"I thought I was fast, but they are faster than me,” he said.

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