Cape Town - South African quad wheelchair tennis player, Neo Kgwedi, has passed away at the age of 20 after a short illness.
Kgwedi, who hails from Burgersfort in the Fetakgomo Greater Tubatse Local Municipality in Limpopo, passed away on Thursday after a short illness at Dr George Mukhari Hospital in Ga-Rankuwa.
"I can’t believe Neo is gone so soon, I knew he had a lot to offer and we were still expecting a lot from him. His smile lives forever young. He was great fun and his smile was wonderful,” said Neo’s mother Zodwa Kgwedi.
Kgwedi took up wheelchair tennis in 2014, played in the Johan Cruyff Foundation Africa Junior Camp at Ellis Park Tennis Stadium in 2015. His first major tournament was the Airports Company South Africa Bloem Open, an International Tennis Federation (ITF) Futures tournament staged in Bloemfontein in 2015 where he lost in the round of 16.
His biggest achievement was reaching the singles quarter-final round and doubles semi-final in the Joburg Open, an ITF level 3 tournament at Ellis Park in 2015.
Wheelchair Tennis South Africa (WTSA) General Manager, Karen Losch, said: “Neo was such a happy person, always making jokes during tournaments. He was an inspiration both on and off court to anyone who had the opportunity to know him. His star will always shine brightly in the history of WTSA.
"Our condolences and our thoughts are with Neo’s family."
“May he rest in peace and remain in our memories forever,” added Losch.
Kgwedi will be laid to rest this weekend on Saturday at 07:00 at his home in Loboeng Village, Limpopo.