Madibaz tennis players Michael Carse and Elaine van Zyl confirmed their potential when they were selected for the University Sport South Africa training squad following the recent tournament in Bloemfontein.
The Nelson Mandela University student-athletes were chosen for the national squad after winning all their singles and mixed doubles matches at the USSA week.
In the process, they played major roles in helping Madibaz earn promotion to the A section after the team finished second in the B section.
“Michael and Elaine will form part of the national training squad that will have training sessions and camps, play in local tournaments and then undergo final trials for selection of the SA team,” said team coach Hennie de Klerk.
“The purpose of the training group is to select a team to compete at the World Student Games in Italy in July next year.”
He added that the team overcame cold early-morning conditions in Bloem to achieve their objective of getting back into the A section.
“Going into the week, the team expected to win promotion because we are traditionally one of the country’s strong tennis universities,” said De Klerk.
“For example, we were fifth the last time we competed in the A section.”
He said the promotion was just reward for the work the players had put in.
“We compete with some very strong varsities, who pour their resources into scooping up the top young talent in South Africa.
“Free State won the event for the eleventh year in a row, giving you an idea of the emphasis they place on attracting top players, as well as coaching and conditioning experts.
“However, our performance showed that we are competitive against the top sides. The whole team must be congratulated for their efforts.
“They showed great character and grit to win some long three-set matches. There was good player support and pride in Mandela University.”