TENNIS ZIMBABWE (TZ) is set to engage the Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) as one of the sports associations set to be affected by a directive which requires selectors to have played at their highest level of competition in the particular discipline.
The directive comes into effect on Friday and could see TZ being forced to overhaul its selection committee.
Initial reports had suggested that only cricket, triathlon and lawn bowls would be affected by the directive, but tennis also looks set to be affected.
TZ has a selection committee assigned to selecting the Davis Cup team and representative junior sides for various regional and international tournaments.
The current TZ selection committee is headed by the association’s former TZ vice-president Tanya Chinamo as the convener.
Other members of the committee include Martin Lock, Petty Tshatedi, Martin Dzuwa, Freeman Nyamunokora and Petros Ndlovu.
While Lock and Dzuwa represented Zimbabwe in the Davis Cup, other members of the committee did not represent the country at the highest level.
Selection convener Chinamo played at junior level in the ’80s, the same level played by coaches Nyamunokora and Ndlovu, while Tshatedi did not represent Zimbabwe at any stage.
This is in conflict with the recently amended directive which states that: “not less than fifty percent (50%) of the selectors shall have represented Zimbabwe as athletes/players at the senior level in the particular sport discipline”.
The directive further states that: “All conveners shall be former national team players and where there is none former national team players on the selection panel, he/she shall have coaching experience or some technical expertise in the particular sport discipline.”
In the case of junior teams, the directive states that “. . . a person should have represented Zimbabwe as a player/athlete at a level not lower than the one to which the selection pertains”.
In an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday, TZ vice-
president Regis Bhunu said they would seek audience on the directive with the SRC.
“There are still some ongoing deliberations on the issue and we are still engaging the SRC. We feel that while the directive is workable in other disciplines, it might be a different case with local tennis. For instance, the composition of the selection committee is guided by our constitution which is approved by the SRC, so before we make any changes we would have to consult them and see if we can map out the way forward together.”
Current convener Chinamo said dialogue was the way forward.
“I think dialogue is the way forward. We are not resisting the directive. In fact, we have always enjoyed very good working relations with the SRC. We are going to use dialogue in order to reconcile the SRC directive and our current selection criteria. I cannot make any further comments beyond that until we have met with the SRC,” Chinamo said.
Zimbabwe Cricket convenor Givemore Makoni has cried foul over the directive, insisting it is aimed at sidelining him from the game and has accused Education, Sport, Arts and Culture minister David Coltart of a deliberate plot to deny ZC a chance to appoint a black coach for the senior team.
Coltart has adamantly denied the charge.