ZIMBABWE will next month join the rest of the world to celebrate World Tennis Day slated for March 4 with all active provinces in the country expected to hold various activities. World Tennis Day was launched by the International Tennis Federation last year at the in Prague, Czech Republic, to help promote tennis participation around the world.
Tennis Zimbabwe vice president, Regis Bhunu, said each province will have to come up with their own activities they will hold on a day they choose, within next month, that promote the development of tennis.
"It's an international event to increase tennis awareness. The whole month of March is for tennis. Every country affiliated to ITF is expected to have a day they do demonstrations in public areas.
"We want to go out to the people rather than having people coming to us. We have asked all provinces to come up with their programmes and we are getting information from them on what they will be doing.
"We have given them the framework on what we expect.
"Our intention was to have a launch in Bulawayo as a way of moving attention from Harare but we are waiting for confirmation from them because the date they had set clashed with another event. We want the provinces to be visible," Bhunu said.
Harare province board chairman, Cornwell Mutetwa, said they were going to host their activities on Saturday and Sunday in Chitungwiza and Westgate Shopping Centre.
"We will have the Tennis 10s programme, which is basically for kids between the age of four and 10 years.
"There has been a new requirement for all affiliated associations that if they are having a tournament they should include the Under-10, they have new balls (for the Under-10) and small courts.
"We felt most people in Zimbabwe do not know that their kids can start playing tennis as early as four years. We are saying they should bring their kids to tennis.
"There will be coaches who will be offering free coaching. After the coaching parents will be given assessments by the coaches on their kids' abilities and it will be up to them to decide if they want their kids to play tennis," said Mutetwa.
Mutetwa said they are hoping to demystify the assumption that tennis is for the elite as they take the sport to Chitungwiza.
"The reason why we are going to Chitungwiza is to demystify the assumption that tennis is an elite sport. Tennis is a tough sport but those that start early normally do well.
"I don't think there can be anything that can stop you. You might not be a champion but can still play tennis. We are also saying that even if you start at a very late stage, if you want to play socially, you can play.
"We are appealing to parents to bring their kids. We have got other activities that will run throughout the month. We are asking all Sports Clubs to allow people to play tennis for free on the day or for the whole month.
"This is something that will benefit a lot of people," said Mutetwa.