Lucas Sithole

Wheelchair tennis player

Wheelchairs and tennis: an unlikely combination? Not if your name is Lucas Sithole. In 1998 Sithole, then 12 years old, fell under a train and his world changed forever. But with quiet courage and the loving support of his mother he managed to transform tragedy into triumph. Now he is South Africa's top quadriplegic wheelchair tennis champion. In 2007 he won the Melbourne Open in Australia, competing against top players from around the world. He went on to become runner-up in another tournament, in Sydney. Today, 24-year-old Sithole juggles his time between training for the 2012 Paralympics, and studying for a diploma in sports management at the University of Johannesburg. He also writes music and sings uMaskandi. Always looking to the future, he dreams of opening his own sports centre for people with disabilities. "I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me,� he says. "I'm living my life to the fullest.� � Ayanda Sitole

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