TENNIS Zimbabwe (TZ) president Regis Bhunu has challenged the corporate world to support his association in their quest to host Bosnia and Herzegovina in a Davis Cup encounter in Harare next year.
By Our staff
Zimbabwe made a step towards making a return to the prestigious Davis Cup World Group with a 2-0 win over Namibia in an Africa Zone Group III playoff semi-final at the Smash Tennis Academy in Cairo Egypt in September.
After playing all of their qualifying matches away from home, Zimbabwe will finally host Bosnia and Herzegovina at Harare Sports Club in March.
Speaking to Standardsport in an interview, Bhunu said as an association, there is need to move with speed to prepare for the event which might seem to be miles away, but in actual fact, is just around the corner.
“When most of you hear that the event will be held next year March you would think we still have time. No, we need to start working now,” Bhunu said.
Having qualified to play in that group, Bhunu feels they have leverage in sourcing sponsors for the upcoming event.
“I think the idea of us qualifying to play in that group will help us lure sponsors for this important event. In that regard, we have partnered Hexagon Sports management to assist us in cutting sponsorship deals. We have lined up programmes that will revive old memories of tennis to all Zimbabweans as we rundown towards March next year.”
He added, “We are going to have kids playing tennis in public places where, with the assistance of Hexagon, we will pitch mini tennis courts at shopping malls and other meeting places for the general public to start appreciating tennis.”
TZ president said the association required cash in excess of US$100 000 to successfully host the event, including the refurbishment of the sporting facilities at Harare Sports Club.
“We need money to refurbish the centre court, renovate our toilets and changing rooms, as well as upgrade our grandstands. We would want to create an atmosphere that will make spectators part of the game,” Bhunu said.
Bhunu gave special mention to Old Mutual and network providers NetOne who have been with the association through hard times.
“The two giants have been with us through hard times. I therefore call on other corporates to pluck a leaf from Old Mutual and NetOne and assist us in any way possible for the event to be a success.”
United States-based duo of Takanyi Garanganga and Benjamin Lock, Spain-based pair of Mark Fynn and Tinotenda Chanakira as well as non-playing captain Martin Dzuwa make up the five member Zimbabwe Davies Cup team.
This current Zimbabwean crop of players is hoping to reach the World Group where Zimbabwean tennis legends Kevin Ullyett, Byron and Wayne Black hoisted the country’s flag with distinction.