Wheelchair tennis tourneys cancelled

HARARE – Wheelchair Tennis Association of Zimbabwe (WTZA) has been forced to postpone this year’s editions of the Harare and Bulawayo Open tournaments after failing to secure sponsorship.

The tournaments were first held in 2010 after the International Tennis Federation (ITF) commended WTAZ for the strides they had made to develop the sport across the country.

But all is not well as the national association which is currently overwhelmed by a liquidity crunch.

“The tournaments are usually held between April and August but for this year we have cancelled them due to lack of sponsorship,” WTAZ vice president, Olga Chisango told the Daily News yesterday.

“In spite of all our ?fundraising efforts, awareness and publicity campaigns, we were unable to get any sponsors on board.

“To this effect, there are no funds to run the Harare and Bulawayo Open to the desired standard and the availability of the stipulated $2 000 prize money.”

Chisango said the move will have a negative effect on the players and the national association moving forward.

“It is neither lack of effort nor organisational planning, but the money just isn’t available. We have been running the organisation entirely from our pockets ever since we took over,” she said.

“This gives us a bad image across the world and is not good for us since the sport is still growing.

“Players achieve points by playing in these tournaments and this involves a lot of traveling which is too much for the players.

“We are appealing to the cooperate world to come and help us.”

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