G Sports Awards Finalists speaks of her love for tennis

Ms Mpho Makhoba

The G sports Awards is a platform that gives coverage for women’s sport to bridge the gap with men’s sport. The G sports awards honor the outstanding women who are really breaking boundaries in this male-dominant world of sports. G sports go all out to look for people that are making a difference well known and those that are not known and celebrate their success.

This is to help encourage more female sportspeople to believe in themselves and go out and make a difference. Most of these nominees encourage females to take up sports and do what they love the most without any fear of what will people say if they are females and playing so-called men’s sports.

Miss Mpho Makhoba, 43 from Hammanskraal, is one of the finalists for the category of volunteer of the year for the G sports awards.

“I have been involved with Tennis from a young age and there were lots of challenges that we have faced, like no proper equipment,  couldn’t play the tournaments as they were expensive and coming from a broken family where only one person works. For instance,  I am the last born of seven siblings.

“When I started playing tennis, I used to make my own racket using a tomato box,  the hard part as the head and the soft part as the handle, I played barefooted as my family couldn’t afford to buy me tennis shoes,” she said.

When she finished matric her goal was to make a difference in the lives of children who wanted to take up sports. She said at first she didn’t have any sponsorship so she used most of her salary to help assist the children to reach their goals.

She would buy them tennis shoes,  look for donations for clothes and also pay for the most talented to play tournaments in order for them to be able to have South African ranking and get closer to their dreams.

“I know most people said I was crazy to do what I did and that I should use my salary for better things,  for me, this was the better thing I wanted to do, I slept well at night knowing that I helped a child to get closer to their dreams”.

Miss Makhoba wanted to reach as many kids as possible as her motto is “TAKE KIDS OF THE STREETS AND PUT THEM ON A SPORTS FIELD,” she started holiday programs where she would have events like winter camp for seven days and spring clinics.

During these events, she would also have life skills as she realized that most of the kids are going through a lot in their lives and do not feel comfortable talking to their parents. Therefore, with life skills, they would be able to open up.

She started a club with only four kids at a time,  she went and started an outreach program to raise awareness in Hammanskraal about Tennis. The event was held at Rembro mall where at the end of the day they’d have 80 kids. The kids received free coaching and they also hustle around for used equipment and clothes so that the children can look the part when attending tournaments and training.

“Since I started this club in Hammanskraal, there are now 112 kids that are being trained at Mandela Sports Complex. Two of those kids qualified to represent Gauteng at the SA Schools Championships in Durban where they came back with Gold medals.

Two more players also qualified to represent GN primary schools at the BNP Paribus Primary schools Nationals where they reached semi-finals beating top schools like Stirling from Eastern Cape and Trinityhouse from Johannesburg.

The club now has two qualified technical officials and it is now registered as an NPO.

We currently have 15 kids representing Hammanskraal in the rating tournament at Groenkloof.

The team will be having another tournament next week at Mandela where players will receive club rankings and some prizes.

These events are in preparation for the children while we waiting for the opening of tournaments during these COVID regulations.

Outreach programs have been done by Mpho in areas like Soweto, Meadowlands, Vaal clubs, Soshanguve and Mabopane. This program has assisted most of the clubs to grow their memberships.

She said she loved assisting children wholeheartedly also making a difference in their lives completes her. She also said her goal is to see one of them representing the country at grand slams like Wimbledon and Australian Open.

“Since I have started, I have assisted six kids to get ministerial bursaries to assist them with school needs like school fees,  sports, school clothes,  medical,  food,  toiletries, and tournaments.