Local tennis player named captain for worlds

Marianne Badenhorst has lived in Canada for just 10 years, but that may have made her smile even bigger when she found out she was not only going to represent Canada at the International Tennis Federation World Team Championships, but do so wearing a ‘C’.

Marianne Badenhorst has lived in Canada for just 10 years, but that may have made her smile even bigger when she found out she was not only going to represent Canada at the International Tennis Federation World Team Championships, but do so wearing a ‘C’.

“The biggest honour of it is to be chosen as captain, it is just the cherry on the cake. It is a reward for hard work and hard practice,“ said Badenhorst who will lead the 45-50-year-old women’s team.

“It’s just amazing when you are there and it finally sinks in that you are there for Canada — it’s a great honour. It is, to me, like I was on the Olympic team. It’s the same feeling.

“You have goals in life. I’m very competitive and if a goal is reachable I will do my best to reach that goal.”

As captain it is her responsibility to choose who plays when, to be a leader, and to be an ambassador for the country.

“It is my responsible to get the team together, practice and select the team best for the day — it all depends on who we play —and see that we do well,” said Badenhorst.

The championships are in Mexico City March 29-April 3.

Badenhorst qualified for the team by her play at provincials, indoor nationals and outdoor nationals — ranking third overall out of 32 players.

This will be her second time representing Canada at the world championships, having done so in Turkey in 2008.

That experience was huge for her, but it also let her know just how big of an underdog the Canadian team will be in Mexico.

Many of the players they will encounter are former WTA professionals or full-time coaches.

“It was an amazing experience, you play against the best in the world in senior tennis,” she said. “A lot of them are tennis coaches, they just coach and that’s all they do, they don’t do anything else.”

But Badenhorst adds that the with the addition of coach Rene Simon and the tennis bubble in Red Deer she now can play year round on a proper court and that is only going to help her.

“I have a great advantage of finally being able to play on no more indoor courts — in the past I have been playing at the Collicutt on the indoor soccer pitch and it’s not quite the same, or I had to drive to Calgary two or three times a week to play on regular tennis courts,” she said.

Badenhorst, 46, has three kids in high school, she works, and also volunteers a lot at the Red Deer Tennis Club while still trying to get some practice in.

She played tennis in high school, but switched to squash when in university. When the Badenhorsts relocated from Swellendam, South Africa — two hours from Cape Town — in 2000 to Prince Albert, Sask., tennis became her life line into the community. When they moved to Red Deer that life line turned into an extended family.

“My dad always said, ‘If you want to meet people, fun people and good people, go to the tennis club,’ and that’s what I did,” she said.

The club will even be hosting a mixed doubles match with a wine and cheese in her honour on Friday at 7 p.m. as they give her a proper send off to the world championships.

“For them to do this is heart warming for me, I appreciate it so much,” said Badenhorst.

“We volunteer a lot at the club and it goes both ways, it feels like you can do anything for them and they appreciate what you are doing.”

Her entire family now plays the sport and she says it is something she plans to continue to play as long as she can.

“It’s a sport for life,” Badenhorst said.

“At nationals I see guys who are 85 and competing and they are in great shape. They can be out there for hours and enjoy life — you never see a single one of them without a smile on their face when they get off the court.

“If I can play as long as they do and be in shape as well as they are, that would be great.”


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Red Deer College (Contributed photo)
RDC tuitions to go up 7%

Tuition increase the maximum allowed under provincial rules

This unicorn was stolen from the small community of Delia, northeast of Drumheller on Friday and was recovered, with its bronze horn broken off, on Saturday. RCMP are looking for information on the suspects.
(Photo from RCMP)
Unicorn statue stolen from Delia recovered

Statue found with horn broken off in field about 15 km from Delia

(Advocate file photo)
Lacombe man whose manslaughter sentence was rejected by judge has new lawyer

Judge rejected proposed seven-year sentence for manslaughter in connection with 2019 homicide

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau holds a news conference at Rideau cottage in Ottawa, on Friday, March 13, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand
Liberals to release federal budget with eye on managing crisis, post-pandemic growth

OTTAWA — The federal government will this afternoon unveil its spending plans… Continue reading

Patches are seen on the arm and shoulder of a corrections officer in the segregation unit at the Fraser Valley Institution for Women during a media tour, in Abbotsford, B.C., on Thursday, Oct. 26, 2017. Correctional Service Canada says three inmates at Fraser Valley Institution recently tested positive for COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Drumheller Institution inmate dies in custody

Inmate’s April 15 death under investigation

A vial of the Medicago vaccine sits on a surface. CARe Clinic, located in Red Deer, has been selected to participate in the third phase of vaccine study. (Photo courtesy www.medicago.com)
Red Deer clinical research centre participating in plant-based COVID-19 vaccine trial

A Red Deer research centre has been selected to participate in the… Continue reading

In this Feb. 24, 2020, photo, the Olympics rings are reflected on the window of a hotel restaurant as a server with a mask sets up a table, in the Odaiba section of Tokyo. The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with less than 1% vaccinated. This of course is spilling over to concerns about the postponed Tokyo Olympics that open in just over three months.(AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)
Will Japanese Olympians be vaccinated ahead of the public?

TOKYO — The vaccine rollout in Japan has been very slow with… Continue reading

PSG's Kylian Mbappe, right, greets Bayern's Lucas Hernandez at the end of the Champions League, second leg, quarterfinal soccer match between Paris Saint Germain and Bayern Munich at the Parc des Princes stadium, in Paris, France, Tuesday, April 13, 2021. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
PSG, Bayern the big names missing from Super League plan

DÜSSELDORF, Germany — The plan for the new Super League soccer competition… Continue reading

In this image released by Paramount Pictures, Marion Cotillard, left, and Brad Pitt appear in a scene from "Allied." (Daniel Smith/Paramount Pictures via AP)
Leo Carax’s ‘Annette’ to open Cannes Film Festival

Leo Carax’s “Annette,” starring Marion Cotillard and Adam Driver, will open the… Continue reading

From left, Producer Doug Mitchell, actor Chris Hemsworth and director George Miller attend at a press conference to announce the new "Mad Max" film at Fox Studios Australia in Sydney, Monday, April 19, 2021. (Mick Tsikas/AAP Image via AP)
‘Mad Max’ prequel shot in Outback to be released in 2023

SYDNEY, Australia — A prequel to the “Mad Max” movie franchise starring… Continue reading

In this Feb. 1, 2021 file photo, emissions from a coal-fired power plant are silhouetted against the setting sun in Independence, Mo. President Joe Biden faces a vexing task as he convenes a virtual climate summit on Thursday. He is expected to present a nonbinding but symbolic goal to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will have a tangible impact not only on climate change efforts in the U.S. but throughout the world. (AP Photo/Charlie Riedel, File)
Biden pressed on emissions goal as climate summit nears

WASHINGTON — When President Joe Biden convenes a virtual climate summit on… Continue reading

Women wearing masks wait near an advertisement ahead of the Auto Shanghai 2021 show in Shanghai on Sunday, April 18, 2021. Automakers from around the world are showcasing their latest products this week in the world's biggest market for auto vehicles. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan)
VW, Ford unveil SUVs at China auto show under virus controls

SHANGHAI — Volkswagen, Ford and Chinese brands unveiled new SUVs for China… Continue reading

Investigators from the Vancouver Police Department were in Chilliwack Saturday, collecting evidence connected to a double homicide. (file photo)
Police investigate shooting death of man outside downtown Vancouver restaurant

Vancouver police say one man was killed in what they believe was… Continue reading

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. to start registering people 18 years and older for COVID-19 vaccines

VICTORIA — The British Columbia government says it’s inviting people 18 years… Continue reading

Most Read