BY FORTUNE MBELE
TENNIS Zimbabwe (TZ) is negotiating a sponsorship package with a yet-to-be-named company to bankroll the ongoing 12 and Under Confederation of African Tennis (CAT) tournament at the Bulawayo Country Club.
The tournament is a regional competition that features Zimbabwe, Botswana, Malawi, and Namibia with teams going through their practice sessions at the match venue yesterday.
TZ administrator Cliff Nhokwara said the association operates on a shoe-string budget and the unnamed company had shown interest in funding the tournament which runs until Saturday, the day of the finals.
“It’s an ongoing process (looking for sponsorship) where we continue talking to the corporate world, tennis fans, and friends of tennis. We continue requiring assistance. There is a potential sponsorship from Bulawayo already for this event and I would like to believe it should mature in the next couple of hours or days,” Nhokwara said.
Tendekai Musabaeka of Mantas Tennis Academy in Matabeleland, Kudiwanashe Marambo of ZB Sports Club in Harare and Bradley Nyamunokora of Tennis Base also in the capital are representing Zimbabwe in the boys category.
Simphiwe Malunguza and Kuzivaishe Chapepa, from GAP Sports Academy in Bulawayo, and Channelle Zhuwakini of ZB Sports are representing Zimbabwe in the girls category.
“Should they be successful in this tournament, it’s an opportunity for them to continue carrying Zimbabwe’s flag high to continental events which the dates are still to be announced. It can happen later in the year or early next year and beyond the continent, there are also the world championships,” Nhokwara said.
The TZ official hopes the six will inspire other young tennis players.
“The four countries are all fielding two teams, one for the boys and one for the girls for the regional championships.
What it means is that it is a team event which uses a format of two singles; number one and number two from each category combine to come up with the doubles team. Its three matches played against each country,” Nhokwara said.
After the 12 and under finals on Saturday, TZ will host the 14 and under at the same venue from Sunday.
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