Squash sensation seeks funding

BY FORTUNE MBELE

ZIMBABWE squash sensation Ryan Gwidzima is looking for US$25 000 (£20 000) yearly for the next five years so that he completes his senior school at Wycliffe College in England upon completion of his preparatory school in June.

This was revealed by Trefor Williams, a member of the Ryan Gwidzima Trust that facilitated the 13-year-old’s move to one of the best squash schools in the world, where he went last October to complete his junior school.

The trust is appealing to well-wishers to contribute to Ryan’s stay in England where he has flown the country’s flag high in the game of squash, winning the Under-13 boys Hungarian Open in Budapest on arrival in England, the Under-13 Manchester Junior Open, the Under-13 Pontefract Junior Open as well as the Under-15 Exeter Junior Open Bronze.

“We need to keep Ryan there and we hope that you will be as generous as you were last year. We have produced a budget for Ryan’s future there, and we estimate that we need a minimum of £20 000 or US$25 000 per annum. We have already secured one sponsor for £1 000 per year,” Williams said.

Ryan is in the country for two-and-a-half weeks for the Easter break and is due back in England on April 26 to complete his junior school.

The sports sensation also did well in the US Junior Open in December last year and the British Junior Open in January and recently helped his school win the England National Schools championships featuring in the Under-15s, Under-17 and Under-19s.

“Ryan will be coming back at the end of June for two months and then his future will depend on finance as to whether the trustees and all of us here can get sufficient money to send him back to Wycliffe College for five years to do senior school. For him to progress, we need help,” Williams said.

Ryan is the Zimbabwe junior and African Under-15 champion.

Another member of the trust, Bulawayo prominent lawyer Promise Ncube paid tribute to sponsors and Ryan’s guardians in England.

“We have received the school reports. Yes, they are teething problems here and there, but on the overall, Ryan is doing very well at school. Without you Ryan would not be in England right now. You came up with the funds when we needed them. We thank you for supporting this cause. This is for the good of Bulawayo and Zimbabwe as a whole,” Ncube said.

Ecobank, NMB, PPC Zimbabwe, Edgars, Davis Granite, Higher Life Foundation, Machinery Exchange and individuals Tony De Werth (Canada), Kevin Blatch (South Africa), Malcolm Pace (England) and those who made donations through crowdfunding platforms were thanked by the trust.

Ryan presented some of his trophies and shields from England at a function on Wednesday evening. The squash sensation was also presented with his trophies for the 2018 annual national junior sportsperson of the year, including the junior sportsman of the year awards which were received on his behalf by his father, Langton, in Harare last month.

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