Home » Sports » ’More Can Be Done for Junior Tennis’

TENNIS Zimbabwe administrator Cliff Nhokwara says a lot can still be done to improve the quality of play for the junior players in the country. This comes after the national association hosted the Zimbabwe Junior Closed Tennis tournament last week with more than 150 players taking part. However, it was the quality of play that was displayed by the juniors that left a lot to be desired.

Nhokwara said although they were happy with the high turnout of the players, there was need for coaches and players to continue working on improving the standards in some age-groups.

“Obviously, we went through the four days, it was tough. We had decent numbers of around 150 players taking part.

“In terms of standards, it is a working process for the coaches. There is tougher competition in the 10s, 12s and 14s but there is a little bit less in the 16s and 18s.

“Maybe, we need to sit down and identify where we are going wrong. As for administration there is room for improvement, maybe in officiating,” said Nhokwara.

Most of the tournaments have been facing challenges when it comes to girls’ participation, notably the Under-18s, with most of the events featuring just a few participants.

In some instances organisers have had to combine them with the Under-16s or just cancel competition in this age-group as the numbers continue to go down.

“It’s a tougher one for the girls, a lot of girls slow down in sport. It’s not only unique to tennis but general in sport. Maybe they would realise there is no life in sport for them.

“It also comes with societal and family influence. Society is more protective on girls.

“It’s a challenge but it’s something we have to keep reinforcing,” said Nhokwara.

The TZ administrator encouraged the junior players to work hard to gain points ahead of the three-week International Tennis Federation 18-and-Under tournament to be held in Harare between July and August.

“We have a big 18-and-Under tournament for three weeks in July to August so we encourage our players to continue working hard so that they get points for the ITF 18-and-Under,” said Nhokwara.

Derick Namaya was crowned champion in the Under-18 boys section while Tariro Dembo walked away with the girls title.

In other age-groups Richard Ngwarwi won the boys Under-16 title and Rudo Mahachi won the girls section.

In the boys Under-14s, the title went to Tanaka Chabata and Sasha Taruberekera in the girls category.

Tinashe Taruberekera and Vimbai Moyo were the winners in the Under-12 boys and girls sections respectively.

Source : The Herald