NEC marks 25 years of wheelchair tennis sponsorship
- Competition-ready wheelchairs donated to the ITF -
Tokyo, December 4, 2018 – NEC Corporation announced today the donation of a series of competition-ready wheelchairs to the International Tennis Federation (ITF) as part of celebrating 25 years of sponsorship of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters.
These wheelchairs will be provided to athletes in developing markets, where access to such specialized equipment is limited, and will therefore aid the ITF's development programme, which aims to help raise the level of tennis worldwide. A number of players who have benefitted from the ITF's development programme have gone on to compete in the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters.
In addition to being the title sponsor of the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters since its establishment in 1994, NEC is also an Official Partner of the UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour and has maintained a close partnership with the ITF for 27 years.
David Haggerty, ITF President, said, "In the last week, the 25th NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters has again proved to be a tremendous advert for the sport worldwide. The ITF is extremely grateful to NEC for its exceptional support of wheelchair tennis over the past 27 years and, in particular, its association as title sponsor of our year-end wheelchair singles championship.
"I would like to thank NEC for their very generous donation of ten tennis wheelchairs to assist the ITF's development of wheelchair tennis, which will continue to ensure the growth of the sport for years to come."
Takashi Niino, President and CEO of NEC Corporation, said, "NEC is proud to be celebrating 25 years of sponsorship of the Wheelchair Tennis Masters, and it is with great pleasure that we mark the occasion with a donation of competition-ready wheelchairs to athletes in developing markets through the ITF development programme. We look forward to seeing this help drive further expansion and development of the game throughout the world."
Wheelchair tennis traces its beginnings to California, USA, in 1976 and has since spread across the globe. In 1992, the ITF created a tour for players, the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Tour, which consisted of 11 international tournaments. Wheelchair Tennis has also been a full medal sport at the Paralympic Games since 1992. It is still today one of the fastest growing wheelchair sports in the world, both in size and popularity. The current UNIQLO Wheelchair Tennis Tour features over 160 events worldwide each year.
In 1994, the ITF launched the NEC Wheelchair Tennis Masters as the supreme year-end challenge of the Tour.
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