Women’s International Tennis Singapore (WITS) was founded in 2000 by Chris Clontz, to provide a daytime tennis league to ladies living in Singapore. They grew from an initial 150 players, to the 637 doubles and 63 singles players registered in Scoring 2019 Season.
In 2017, WITS registered as a society in Singapore, with a constitution directing it to raise funds for chosen charities. WITS committee members are all volunteers, and donate their spare time and energy to various important causes.
For several years, WITS supported a children’s charity in Cambodia called Sunrise, and made it possible for the children to take tennis lessons and have access to rackets, balls and other tennis paraphernalia. In 2016, they decided to support charities in Singapore and chose Aidha, an organisation that helps empower expat women to manage their finances and start businesses in their home country.
As a registered society, WITS can only support one charity raffle per season. It now supports Aware as well. Aware helps women in Singapore through difficulties at home, by providing helplines, legal advice and support centres.
For the past few years, Elite Havens has supported WITS, offering a villa holiday, at a luxurious property that features tennis courts, for the end of season awards, held in June and November. This has enabled WITS to raise more money for their chosen charities, through raffle ticket sales for the villa prize. As teams have enjoyed the benefits of villa stays, many members are now loyal customers of Elite Havens, booking villas for their personal holidays as well.
In addition to the charity work, WITS is increasingly becoming more environment-friendly and has stopped production of paper waiver forms and rule books. They now only use the online version. WITS members are also trying to minimise usage of single-use plastics and plastic bags.
That is not all. Members are involved in a range of related philanthropic activities. Recently, Leighann Beevor – a key committee member in charge of the WITS Facebook page – initiated a large collection of used tennis balls, to ship to a children’s tennis academy in the Philippines. Another member, WITS committee registrar Tanja Tullberg, helps coach soundball students in Singapore. Soundball is tennis for the visually-impaired and Tullberg recently accompanied the Singapore team to Spain for the Soundball World Cup.