Thando Longwe-Smit started playing tennis at just five years old, and by the age of nine was already participating in tournaments. This first-year sports psychology student has gained many accolades and travelled internationally for his sport since he was 12. Representing South Africa on world stages has resulted in his proudest moments.
“I feel that there is no greater honour to be called up by your country,” he says.
In a recent interview with Sport Federation TV, Longwe-Smit said picking up a racket felt natural, as he grew up watching his father play tennis. Tennis is his greatest passion and something that he believes will be part of his life for a very long time.
Longwe-Smit is so brilliant at what he does that he had multiple universities in America wanting him to play tennis for them on scholarships. He eventually settled for Liberty University based in Lynchburg, Virginia. In 2015 Rondebosch Boys High School also awarded him a scholarship towards school fees due to his sports achievements; he was the captain of the A team at the school.
Some of his achievements include being ranked U18 player in the South Africa Tennis Federation rankings, doubles winner Boland Grand Prix last year and winning the singles Boland Grand Prix that same year. He says what drives him to excel is being able to be better than he was the day before. Longwe-Smit also believes that dreams do come true as long as you work hard and are able to make sacrifices.