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Lucas Sithole

The Order of Ikhamanga in

Silver
Lucas Sithole Awarded for:
Bearing witness to resilience. He pushes past his limitations to achieve the seemingly impossible and has made history in the process.
Profile of Lucas Sithole

Lucas Sithole is an inspirational young man whose determination saw him make history in the field of tennis. Sithole, who at the age of 12 had a horrific train accident that left him a triple amputee, became the first African to win the United States of America (USA) Open Title in the singles tennis game. It hasn’t been an easy road for Sithole who had to battle deep depression after losing his limbs. It was seven years ago at high school that Sithole was introduced to basketball, rugby and tennis. Not one to take the easy road, he chose tennis because he sensed a challenge worth confronting.

Sithole met Holger Losch through the sport and he has remained his coach ever since. The two have inspired each other to focus on the game and not on the odds against them. In the USA Open Singles Quads Final, Sithole faced David Wagner, a formidable opponent who has won the title in 2010 and 2011. This did nothing to deter Sithole from winning.

Sithole has been playing professionally for a short period yet he has made incredible strides in the game. He competed in the 2012 London Paralympics and the Ministry of Sport has offered him a residency programme. His goal is to play in the 2016 Paralympics. He lives a full life and refuses that anybody should pity him. In 2007, Sithole won the Melbourne Open in Australia, competing against top players from around the world. He became the runner up in another tournament in Sydney.

Sport is not the only focus of this talented young man. He juggles his time between training and studying for a diploma in sports management at the University of Johannesburg. He also writes music and sings uMaskandi music. Ultimately, one day Sithole hopes to open his very own sports centre for people with disabilities.