ONE of Zimbabwe's top squash coaches, Mashumba Mukumba, says he is being charmed by the increase in the number of young girls taking part in the sport.
Speaking after presiding over the 10th anniversary of the Zimbabwe Education Squash Trust in Harare at the weekend, Mukumba said the past couple of years have seen young girls making their way to the squash courts.
"This is an encouraging sign that the sport is growing in Zimbabwe," he said.
"Women participants have increased a bit. What is interesting is that quite a big number of them are coming from the high-density suburbs.
"This shows that we are doing something good and positive in terms of developing the sport of squash at grassroots level."
The Zimbabwe Education Squash Trust celebrated their 10 years of squash and educational excellence on November 15-16 where a tournament for junior players was held in different parts of Harare.
The tournament, which was sponsored by Stem Magnetics, an IT company which imports and distribute Hewlett Packard products in Zimbabwe, featured children from different schools that play squash in the country.
"The turnout was very good despite the fact that we missed some of the players who were playing in the Mashonaland doubles squash league final that was held on the same days at St John's College in Harare," Mukumba said.
The tournament marked 10 years of squash at the academy at Belgravia Sports Club in Harare since it started in 2009.
In the girls Under-11 section, Natasha Gwidzima emerged as the winner of this section while, in the boys Under-11, the gold medal went to Brett Raynars who came out tops ahead of Arnold Zivano and Samuel Gutu.
The was a round robin-format.
There was another round-robin format in the girls Under-14 matches which were dominated by Lana O'Donovan.
Second place went to Delight Nyakabawo while Natasha Gwidzima settled for third place.
In the boys Under-14 section, Elton Mukumba beat Dhireni Ramabhai 3-1 in the final and was crowned the champion while third place went to Tendekai Haparimwi who beat Tadiwa Mapiro 3-0 in the third and fourth-place play-off.
Talent Jambo was the overall winner in the boys Under-16 section after beating Rukudzo Midzi 3-0 in the final.
Michael Banville beat Malcom Mushunje 3-0 to claim the bronze medal.
In the boys Under-19 final, Roy Jambo beat Brighton Nyakabawo 3-1 to be crowned the overall champion while Ryan Landman was placed third after beating M. Chege 3-0.
The tournament was attended by Mathew Manyangadze, the director of Stem Magnetics, who was the guest of honour.
There was also Kudavana Partnership Trust who were part of the tournament's sponsors while the section chairman William Pepukai could not grace the occasion as he wasn't feeling well.