By Ezekiel Putirwa
The Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation in partnership with the Ministry of Primary and Secondary education has embarked on a countrywide initiative to construct low-cost tennis courts for every school in Zimbabwe.
It is in this vein that the Ministry of Youth, Sport, Arts and Recreation’s Chitungwiza Office have hit the ground running in its area of jurisdiction by engaging schools through the District Schools Inspector’s office in the education ministry.
The District Sport office has been able to lure top Zimbabwe Tennis players to interact and share ideas with the community on the development of the discipline, since the two ministerial partnership was tabled last year.
Top players Courtney Locke and Takanyi Garanganga were in the District in the months of September 2017 and March this year respectively. The former bemoaned lack of proper infrastructure for the development of the game and pledged to offer free training sessions to budding tennis players in schools.
The District Sport and Recreation Officer, Tawanda Chikono implored that the initiative is community driven whereby the parents, the teachers, the business people and other interested parties put their heads together in the provision of labour and capital towards the construction of the low cost tennis courts in the schools.
“The low-cost tennis courts has an estimated cost of $700 and as of now the sport and recreation office has already engaged five schools (and the consultations are on-going) to have this plan discussed with their respective School Development Committees cascading down to the parents and other stakeholders,” said Mr Tawanda Chikono.
According to the project document on the national programme to build low-cost tennis courts for every school in Zimbabwe the main thrust is to promote, advance, develop and spread the game of tennis to all corners of the country.
The National Sport and Recreation Policy intertwines with the Education Curriculum framework that encourages all people to take up active lifestyles through promoting mental and physical health by creating safe communities and promoting positive behaviors in collaboration with all stakeholders.
The establishment of these tennis courts will go a long way in grooming and nurturing future world class players thereby alleviating poverty from within their families and communities.