Home » Sports » Harare Junior Open Sponsorship Unveiled

THE Harare Metropolitan Tennis Board yesterday signed a five-year contract with biscuit manufacturers, Arenel, who have come on board to sponsor the Harare Junior Open tournament scheduled to start tomorrow.

Arenel, through their brand of Wimbledon biscuits, agreed to bankroll the competition for the next five years with the initial package said to be around US$10 000.

The package was unveiled yesterday at a media briefing held at the Harare Sports Club ahead of the tournament dubbed the ‘Arenel Wimbledon Harare Junior Tennis Open.’

Arenel divisional director, Ray Mhangwa, said they were happy to be involved in the development of tennis.

“As Arenel we are excited to partner the Harare Metropolitan Tennis Board in their efforts and in their initiative to develop tennis in the Harare Metropolitan province and also in Zimbabwe as a whole.

“Through our Wimbledon biscuit brand we will start this year to sponsor the Harare Metropolitan Tennis Board with a sponsorship package and henceforth the tournament will be called the Arenel Wimbledon Biscuits Harare Junior Tennis Open.

“We are committed to the development of tennis and to show our commitment we have agreed to a long-term relationship with the Harare Metropolitan Tennis Board which will be reviewed on an annual basis.

“And our financial commitment to this tournament shows the commitment that Arenel has not only to the development of tennis but to the development of sport in general in Zimbabwe.

“We believe that our initiative will go a long way in developing tennis in Zimbabwe,” said Mhangwa.

Mhangwa commended the tennis board for their efforts to develop the sport from grassroots.

“We are particularly touched to see that tournaments of this nature attract kids as young as four up to 18 and it is in that regard that Arenel was touched to say let’s come in and give a helping hand to such an initiative.

“We are particularly grateful and we would like to commend the Harare Metropolitan tennis board for taking it upon themselves to develop tennis especially with the young kids.

“There is a saying which says it’s better to grow kids than to repair man and I believe such initiative will help grow these kids into responsible adults.

“We also believe that sport can actually be taken as a career and such tournaments will go a long way in developing some of these young kids into professional tennis players.

“You will note that players such as Genius (Chidzikwe) are products of such tournaments, they are products of such initiatives. You look at all your world class tennis players they just didn’t work up playing tennis. They are products of such initiatives where they are groomed from a young age.”

Harare Metropolitan Tennis Board vice chairperson, Collin Mahere said the sponsorship will go a long way to ease some of the challenges they were facing.

The four-day tournament will see junior players fight for honours in the Under-10, Under-12, Under-14 and the combined 16 and 18 age-groups.

Source : The Herald