Johana Martínez Vega
Stel je voor; wie ben je en wat is je doel.
My name is Johana Martínez Vega, I’m from Colombia and I’m 35 years old. I was born with Cerebral Palsy and I have a motor nerves problem, hemiplegics and fall foot. I graduated as a Sport Manager at the Distrital University in Bogotá-Colombia, I’m an international wheelchair tennis player and in several times I have been working for the wheelchair tennis in Colombia, specially motivating more children and woman to join this sport.
My goal is to improve my level of tennis, to believe in my capacities and be a better competitor.
I started playing wheelchair tennis in September 2003, after two months I played my first national tournament and I won in my category. In March 2004 the Silver Fund was launched in Colombia, and ITF Wheelchair Tennis Development Officer Mark Bullock visited the country. I wanted to practice in a high level and I asked Mark the possibility to practice in another country for some months. In May 2005 the ITF invited me to the Netherlands to be part of the first wheelchair tennis development team, I was training with the coach Aad Zwaan and some of the best players in the world and I played some Europe tournaments and I won my first points for the international ranking. There I won the Ossur Open 2005. In July 2005 I worked as a volunteer at the Colombian Tennis Federation with the wheelchair tennis program, specially in the silver fund Aad Zwaan visit project and I graduate with honors for that. In November 2005 I was invited as an ambassador to El Salvador to help for the project there. Since I start in this sport I have tried to show to different people sports as a possibility of a personal satisfaction, a reason to dream, happiness and feel full of life with the thinks you do with your heart.
I’m still working as a volunteer for wheelchair tennis in Colombia with different ITF projects.
I have won some international tournaments and at the Parapanamerican Games 2007 I won the bronze medal. In November I played the Silver Fund Cup, I won the tournament and I received a Wild Card for the Paralympic Games Beijing 2008. The same year I won gold medal at the National Paralympic Games. In 2009 I won some international tournaments and in 2010 I participated for the first time at the Invacare World Team Cup for Colombia and we qualify to the event in 2011. We won silver medal in doubles at the Parapanamerican Guadalajara 2011 and I qualify to the paralympic games London 2012 with ranking 22 of the world, at the parapanamerican games Toronto 2015 we won the silver medal in doubles.
– Wat betekent Aad Zwaan voor jou?
Aad Zwaan give me confidence in my game, I know I can learn a lot from him and he can help me to be a better player, I have tried so many trainers and is with him I feel I can achieve my goals as for me he’s a real coach. Aad knows very well the players and he can guide me not only during the training session but also during competition.
– Wat betekent Aad voor de gehandicapte sport en met name voor het rolstoeltennis?
Aad is one of the best wheelchair tennis coaches of the world, He’s a compromise coach with his players, always looking for different ways the player can improve his level of tennis, feel confortable and enjoy the sport. He has had great results with his players during so many years in disable sports and has been the most successful coach for The Netherlands internationally.
His permanent commitment with the sport is admirable, for wheelchair tennis is a privilege to still count with his experience, his knowledge and passion for tennis.
– Wat is jou stip op de horizon?
I want to be a example for so many people who are afraid to follow their heart and make their dreams true even if is not always easy, to find a reason to work hard and have less excuses to take the next step and enjoy and be happy with the decisions they made. Show that nothing is impossible if you do it with courage.
– Waarom doe je dit en wanneer heb jij jouw doel bereikt?
I have always wanted people in my country to see this sport just like able-bodied tennis, with the only difference being that you are using an extra instrument. I hope that one day, when the best Colombian player is pushing his wheelchair down the street, people will think, “There is the best Colombian wheelchair tennis player,” and ask for his autograph, rather than, “Ohhh, poor man, he’s in a wheelchair.” I want to be recognised in my country the same way Fabiola Zuluaga is.
My goal is now to take part in the Paralympic Games in Beijing in 2008, but I cannot do that by myself. Unfortunately, wheelchair tennis sponsorship in Colombia is limited, making it harder to be a professional wheelchair tennis player. But remember, everything you want, if you work for it, you will get it. Whenever you have a dream, go ahead and make it real; don’t be afraid to try, you never know. Just follow the old proverb: aim for the moon so you can hit the top of a tree.
I’m doing this because since I was a child my dream was playing tennis in a higher level, I was 23 years old when I knew wheelchair tennis, I enjoy to have as a career my child dream and the feeling to get better every day. I will reach my goal when I feel I have gave everything I have, having better opportunities of training, when I can have a real training and competition plan and see the results of that. My goal is to have the right Paralympic cycle to reach the Paralympic Games 2020 in my best athletic and tennis shape, specially the right mentality to compete in the most higher level and improve my sport result I have had during those years.
– Vermelding je Nationale ranking
Best single international ranking No. 21 (10/10/2011) and doubles 17 (16/05/2011)
Actula Ranking single 119
Actula Ranking double 67
Silver medal at the parapanamerican games Toronto 2015
Paralympic diplome in doubles with Angélica Bernal at the Paralympic games 2012
Champion Czech Republic 2012
Champion Guga Kuerten Cup 2012
1st south american wheelchair tennis player to participate at a paralympic games. Beijing 2008
Gold medal national games Cali 2008
Bronce medal Parapanamerican games, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil 2007.
Champion Mafikeng open, Southafrica 2009
Champion Barranquilla Open 2009
Champion Colombia Open 2007, 2008
Champion Silver Fund ITF Cup 2007
Champion Argentina open 2007
Champion Queensland open, Australia 2007
Champion Chilian open 2006
Champion at the national tournament Ossur Open, The Netherlands 2005