Home » Sports » Arenel Bankrolls Junior Tennis

ASPIRING young tennis players have been offered an added incentive to showcase their potential after a local biscuit manufacturer Arenel agreed to bankroll the Harare Junior Open for the next five years.

Dubbed the Arenel Wimbledon Harare Junior Open, the 2014 tournament’s package is expected to be unveiled at a media briefing at the Tennis Zimbabwe offices in the capital his morning, while the competition is scheduled to run from April 26-29 at Harare Sports Club.

Arenel, through their brand of Wimbledon biscuits, will for the next five years bankroll the competition with the company understood to have agreed to inject an initial package of around $10 000 for the 2014 event.

The tournament, which brings together some of the best emerging tennis talent in the country and the region will also see players and umpires being kitted with branded t-shirts while there will be trophies, medals and certificates for the participants.

Tennis, like most of the country’s sporting disciplines has been struggling without significant corporate sponsorship and a naturally excited tournament director Linsent Chitiyo, yesterday expressed gratification to Arenel for having come on board to partner the Harare Metropolitan tennis board in a competition that provides a platform for young players to test their mettle against their peers.

The tournament caters for players from eight years and under right through to those who are to 18 and under.

Although the finer details of the Arenel package will be announced today, Chitiyo said they had also been impressed by the “overwhelming” numbers of entries which includes players from Botswana and South Africa.

“This (the Arenel sponsorship) is a big boost for grassroots tennis. It is a welcome development that everyone has been anticipating.

“If you have people willing to develop our players, it gives them more purpose to fight apart from just the fight to climb up the rankings.

“Entries are coming in thick and fast and if you see the popularity of the competition going across the region then you know that we are in the right direction. That also speaks volumes of the competitiveness of our tennis because previously it was always players who had to travel to other countries for competitions but now we have players coming to our tournament,” Chitiyo said.

Chitiyo also indicated that although the partnership between Harare Metropolitan tennis board and Arenel (Pvt) Ltd was for an initial five years it was subject to renewal.

The Harare Open tournament director also said they were lining up Old Hararians Sports Club and Prince Edward courts as alternative venues in the event that there is an overspill of players from Harare Sports Club.

Players who are between four and eight will play the red ball, those in the 8-9 category will use the orange ball while those that are aged between 9-10 will use the green ball.

Source : The Herald