Tennis players desert Zim after getting scholarships


The re-elected president of Tennis Zimbabwe Anne Martin has promised to put more effort in ensuring that players who go abroad on tennis scholarships come back to represent the country.
It emerged during the association’s annual general meeting on Saturday that out of the 27 players who had been given tennis scholarships abroad only two had returned to represent the country.
“It is very unfortunate that most of the promising players have decided not to come back, after going abroad on tennis scholarships,” said Martin.
“It very unfortunate it has affected other players’ chances of qualifying for scholarships. We will make the selection process more stringent so that only deserving players with love for the sport can benefit in the future.”
Only Takanyi Garan’anga and Mbonisi Ndimande have remained committed to the national team while players like Simbarashe Happy, Pfungwa Mahefu and Zibusiso Ncube all could be making meaningful contributions both in playing and developing young talent.
At one time Tennis Zimbabwe had 27 junior players on scholarships in the United States but nothing was done to develop them after university or college education.
As a result they found no reason to come back. There was no concerted effort to monitor the progress of the players once they got abroad and now players like Fadzayi Mawisire no longer find the motivation to return.
Mawisire, just 24 and now a student coach at Southern Illinois University is one of the beneficiaries of the scholarship programme.